Focusing on the Slow-growing NF1 Gliomas

Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

Focusing on the Slow-growing NF1 Gliomas

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Many patients contain high numbers of tumor-killing immune cells that make them respond to the immunotherapies. The neurofibromatosis patients are more likely to get fatal gliomas that pose difficulty in treatments. In the U.S., approximately 100,000 people have been suffering from glioma. In addition to other brain tumors, the study indicates that patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are more vulnerable to brain tumors.

Diffuse gliomas are the common malignant brain tumors in adults. The detection of circulating tumor DNA in the patient’s blood remains a challenge for primary brain tumor patients. Sequencing out ctDNA from the cerebrospinal fluid helps in providing an alternative way to gliomas with lower morbidity and cost. Glioblastomas never remain unresponsive to immunotherapy.

Studies published in Nature Medicine conducted on glioblastoma have three different reports. During the first study, 35 patients with recurrent resectable glioblastoma showed median survival. The glioblastoma carries a survival rate of just ten percent in three years. With the help of radiation therapy and temozolomide, the median rate of survival is 14.6 months. At the same time, the recurrent glioblastoma has a survival rate of six to eleven months. The study in Nature Medicine explored immunotherapy in glioblastoma. Nivolumab has been used before and after the surgery. According to the Nature Medicine study, patients have been enrolled with glioblastoma that requires primary or salvages surgical resection. The patients ought to receive a single dose of nivolumab three weeks before surgery, and post-surgically, it happens until death.

The molecular changes in the NF1 brain tumors have made the treatment very difficult. Recent researchers from 25 institutions worldwide performed an in-depth analysis containing 56 tumor samples from cancer patients to create first comprehensive immune, genetic, and epigenetic changes in NF1 gliomas.  When the tumor cells have been infiltrated with macrophages, immunotherapy becomes ineffective. Many slow-growing NF1 gliomas contain macrophages thereby producing neoantigens. It triggers the immune system attack. Radiotherapy and some current cancer drugs damage the DNA. Drugs are being developed to have an effective reaction in the cancer cells.

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