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A team of scientists has discovered that a synthetic flavonoid called flavopiridol can be re-purposed such that it plays a key part in combating brain tumors. Glioblastomas are known to be the most common type of brain cancer. Merely 30 percent of the patients in the United States who suffer from glioblastomas are reported to live for more than a couple of years following diagnosis. Researchers believe that approximately 12,000 fresh cases will be diagnosed in 2016.
Following the research conducted by the team in the UK, US and Italy, they have managed to use flavopiridol to starve tumors of glioblastoma in order to bring cancer growth to a halt. In order to spread, the glioblastoma cells heavily depend on high levels of glucose. Since they spread so quickly, they become really difficult for doctors to treat. Plus, they can reprogram their metabolisms in an attempt to allow incurable and quick growth. This explains why this sort of cancer is so deadly.
Interestingly, this same attribute can lead to the downfall of glioblastoma. It turns out that flavopiridol can target the metabolic switching and even totally shut off the energy supply of the tumors. Flavopiridol has previously been employed in an effort to treat various sorts of cancer. These range from prostate to breast cancer. Scientists now hope to further these studies in order to understand how they can lead to more effective treatments.
The FDA has granted breakthrough status to scientists from Duke University in recognition of their efforts with a therapy linked with polio virus. This endorsement goes to show how effective this approach by the scientists has proved to be. It is designed in such a way that it kills the cancer cells while safeguarding the healthy cells. Here’s hoping that this diagnosis bodes well for those burdened with cancer.
This research has been published in The Journal of Cellular Physiology.