Effective Treatment for Neuroblastoma

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Experts have claimed that they have discovered an effective treatment for deadly cancer — neuroblastoma — by applying new science with a 40-year-old known drug.

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Michelle Haber, a molecular and cellular biologist in Australia, said laboratory trials with mice genetically programmed to develop neuroblastoma — a solid tumour that spreads rapidly through the body — showed the drug, DFMO, delayed the development of tumours or prevented them forming in the first place.

By combining DFMO with conventional anti-cancer drugs such as cisplatin, that was then used to treat mice with neuroblastoma, the tumours were reduced, took longer to return and some tumours never came back, according to a report published in The Australian.

Haber, executive director of Sydney-based Children’s Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research, said, “The mice were cured. That’s something you virtually never see in aggressive neuroblastoma.”

Luciano Dalla-Pozza, head of oncology at Children’s Hospital in Sydney welcomed the series of genetic and animal experiments Haber’s team had conducted.

“If the trial was opened now, I’d unhesitantly look at enrolling patients in it,” Dalla-Pozza said.

While roughly 75 per cent of children diagnosed with other cancers survive, only 50 per cent of those diagnosed with neuroblastoma survive. Two-thirds of youngsters get an aggressive form of neuroblastoma that kills more than 80 per cent of them within a year.

Haber said discussions were under way with Sydney Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for trials of combination therapy with children who had relapsed from neuroblastoma.
“For me that’s incredibly exciting,” Haber said.

Sources: The Times Of India

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