Working out the potential of combining two complementary drugs in treating young people with low grade gliomas.
Dr Susan Picton and colleagues at the University of Leeds and Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit are conducting a clinical trial to determine the potential value and best dose when combining the drugs nilotinib and vinblastine to treat young people with brain tumours.
The researchers are focusing on low grade childhood brain tumours called gliomas. Gliomas are often inoperable because of their location and can become more aggressive over time.
In this study jointly funded by The Brain Tumour Charity and Cancer Research UK the researchers will look to find the optimum safe dose of these two drugs when given in combination.
The researchers will then compare the effectiveness of treating patients with a combination of the two drugs at their optimum dose compared with treatment with vinblastine alone.
If the two drugs combined do work better than vinblastine alone this could lead onto a larger trial to more fully determine any additional benefit of this drug combination compared to standard treatment, ultimately changing the way these patients are treated.
Approximately 135 children under 15 years of age are diagnosed with low grade glioma each year in the UK. Whilst many can be successfully treated in the first instance, more than 50% of these tumours will go on to grow within five years after initial treatment. Therefore there is an urgent need to find new drugs with which to treat these patients.
Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.
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