Anti-alcoholism drug 'also helps to treat deadly brain tumour'

25 October 2012

A form of treatment that has been used for decades to tend to alcoholic patients could also help to enhance the battle of a common and deadly brain tumour.

Glioblastoma is a tumour which arises from astrocytes – star-shaped cells that create the supportive tissue of the brain – and are commonly highly malignant.

This is because the cells reproduce at a rapid rate and are supported by a large network of blood vessels.

However, scientists based at the University of Wolverhampton have found in their research that the anti-alcoholism drug disulfiram could significantly reduce the risk of glioblastoma.

The researchers pointed out that the drug has already been effective at killing glioblastoma cells that were growing in their lab, with the process enhanced when the treatment worked in tandem with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine.

Commenting on the next stage of the research, study leader Dr Weiguang Wang, from the University of Wolverhampton, said: "We're now working on the best way to deliver dilsulfiram and hope to begin clinical trials in cancer patients as soon as funding can be secured."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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