Arginine depletion clinical trial: plus expansion of research into paediatric and teenager / young adult tumours
The research team led by Dr. Nelofer Syed has a strong track record in studying the nutrients used in brain tumour metabolism, and were the first to identify the fact that arginine (an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein) is used differently by brain cancer cells compared to healthy brain cells, and that by manipulating the relevant metabolic pathways, arginine levels could be used to influence tumour growth.
They have now completed an early stage clinical trial led by Dr Peter Szlosarek at Barts and the London School of Medicine, and are preparing to take these promising results into a larger trial alongside re-irradiation for adult patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
With your support we could not only move this trial forward more quickly so that patients can start to be offered this new treatment as soon as possible, but could start to work towards clinical trials for children, teenagers and young adults. In collaboration with Prof Tracy Warr at the University of Wolverhampton, Dr Syed and her team are already exploring the effectiveness of arginine deprivation in the laboratory using cells from paediatric ependymoma (a slow growing form of childhood brain tumour) and GBMs found in patients who are 18 to 20 years old.
A huge challenge in brain tumour research is that there are many subtypes of tumour within each category, so a brain tumour in a younger patient shows distinct differences from a tumour found in an adult, even if they are classified within the same general name or arise from similar cells. Their tumours are therefore likely to respond differently to treatment, and as we move forward into an exciting era of personalised medicine, it is crucial that no patient group is left behind.
Read more about the research team and study: Imperial College London Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence