Mebendazole, a medication for treating pinworms could be used to treat one of the most common brain tumors which is low grade glioma. Marc Symons, PhD, professor in The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research’s Karches Center for Oncology Research, have determined that the drug mebendazole that could extend the lives of low grade glioma patients.
Low-grade glioma is a tumor that develops from cells that could help and safeguard the brain’s nervous system. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the available treatments for this tumor. As the blood-brain barrier blocks substances from the blood entering to the brain, chemotherapy is very difficult. Vincristine is a drug that is usually used as part of different drug combinations for the treatment of brain tumors, though it is slightly toxic and very poorly passes through the blood-brain barrier.
Dr. Symons and team investigated mebendazole that had demonstrated to be efficient in treating glioma turmors in earlier studies. By analyzing how mebendazole destroys isolated tumor cells in the laboratory, they demonstrated that it functions in precisely the similar way as vincristine. They also identified but, that while mebendazole efficiently prevented the growth of glioma tumors, vincristine did not function at all.
Efficiency of Mebendazole
“We were quite shocked to know that vincristine, which is now being used to treat an array of various brain tumors, was completely inefficient in our in vivo glioma model,” mentioned Dr. Symons. “In comparison, in the same model, mebendazole worked rather well, most possibly since mebendazole crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches the tumor a way better than vincristine. The reason that vincristine may be wrongly believed to be efficient for the brain tumors treatments is that it often has been used in combination with other therapies.”
As per the new findings and because of the fact that vincristine frequently has high side effects in contrast to comparatively mild reactions to mebendzole, Dr. Symons and his colleagues are currently motivated to begin clinical trials to verify whether mebendazole may replace vincristine in brain tumors therapies.
“Sometimes breakthroughs can be looking at current therapy in a new light,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. “This new strategy requires to be examined in clinical trials, but with Dr. Symons’ new results we can be closer to a new treatment option that might extend the lives of the patients with low-grade glioma and other brain tumors.”
Written by Lax Mariappan, Msc