Brain Cancer

Treating the deadly brain disease needs not only great effort and time but also high-end medicines and tests, which, despite various advancements in the medical industry, is still far-flung from the general public. However, the scenario may be going to change soon as a common pinworm medicine, is going to replace the current excruciating treatment methods of healing certain types of brain cancer.

A new international study, conducted by the Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research’s Karches Center for Oncology Research has revealed that a standard antiparasitic medicine could be highly useful for healing certain brain cancers like low-grade glioma. To those unaware, low-grade glioma is a particular type of tumour that sets off from cells that defend and support the nervous system of the brain. There are various treatments methods for healing low-grade glioma including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy is proven to be highly challenging in most of the low-grade glioma cases because most drugs cannot penetrate the barrier between blood and brain, and this results in the prevention of substances in the bloodstream from reaching the brain.

To deal with this hindrance and make the treatment of brain cancer more efficient and easier, a team of researchers at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research’s Karches Center for Oncology Research examined a common pinworm drug called mebendazole – which is generally used for healing parasitic pinworms – in order to find if the drug can be effective at treating glioma tumors. And fortunately, the aftermaths of the study confirm that the common medicine can be used as an excellent replacement for the current treatment methods for curing brain tumour like chemotherapy.

Researchers, while experimenting, found that mebendazole is capable of killing the isolated tumour cells in a similar manner that the drug vincristine is employed to cure brain tumours. Though drug vincristine can be poisonous and is incapable of crossing the blood-brain barrier well, Mebendazole is found to efficiently hold back the growth of glioma tumours, while efficiently crossing the blood-brain barrier, which vincristine can’t.

Marc Symons, a professor at The Feinstein Institute and the lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Molecular Medicine said, “The results of our study was entirely surprising for us, as we found the vincristine, which is currently employed for curing a range of dissimilar brain tumours, was totally unproductive in our created in vivo glioma model. In contrast, we found mebendazole performed quite well in the same pattern, most likely because the common medicine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier easily to get into the tumour much better than vincristine.”

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