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Treatments licensed for other illnesses

Research is sometimes carried out to see if treatments licensed for a particular illness may be beneficial in treating different illnesses. You should never start taking a new medication without discussing it with your healthcare team first.

Please note that NICE does not recommend these medicines for the treatment of brain tumours. Before trying any new medications or treatments you should discuss your plans with your healthcare team.

Accessing unlicensed drugs

Find out how to access promising drugs that aren't yet licensed for brain tumours.

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Afatinib (Giotrif®)

Afatinib is a targeted cancer treatment drug used to treat lung cancer.

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Antineoplaston therapy

An alternative and controversial cancer therapy available in America.

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There has been some research into liquid aspirin and brain tumours.

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There are currently some clinical trials in patients with high grade gliomas.

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Celecoxib (Celebrex®)

Celecoxib is a type of drug known as “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs" (NSAIDs).

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The use of anti-depressant clomipramine in treating brain tumours is debated.

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies

Always consult your healthcare team before taking any alternative medicines.

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Clinical trials with isotretinoin did not show any benefit to brain tumour patients.

About isotretinoin


Lapatinib is used in women with breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body.

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An epilepsy drug that can prevent seizures from happening, also known as Keppra®.

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There are currently ongoing trials in patients with pancreatic cancer.

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Metformin has been used in a clinical trial for children who've had radiotherapy.

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PDE5 inhibitors

Research is investigating whether existing drugs could be used in cancer treatment.

Further information

Tasadenoturev (DNX-2401)

A clinical trial is in progress for children with Diffuse Midline Glioma.

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