Researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) in Brazil have demonstrated the potential of a leukemia drug, arsenic trioxide, to treat medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer most common in children. When they tested arsenic trioxide on cells taken from one of the most aggressive subgroups of this type of tumor, they obtained promising results in terms of tumor cell death. The drug also made the tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, was supported by FAPESP.
“Twelve medulloblastoma subgroups are currently recognized according to their molecular characteristics, which also indicate the prognosis. One of the subgroups with the worst prognosis is known as SHH. This tumor has a somatic mutation in gene TP53, and it’s treated with chemical and radiation therapy,” said Paulo Henrique dos Santos Klinger, first author of the article, written as part of his master’s research at
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