Drug candidate identified to target glioma brain tumors at UAB


In a recently published paper, researchers, led by UAB professor of neurosurgery Ichiro Nakano, M.D., Ph.D. reveal these findings:


  • The identification of a biomarker enzyme associated with aggressive glioma brain tumors
  • Uncover the regulatory mechanism for that enzyme
  • Demonstrate the efficacy of a small molecule inhibitor they have developed, using a mouse model of glioma


The inhibitor, GA11, retains a core structure that resembles natural inhibitors of the biomarker enzyme; the inhibitor has been modified in such a way as to help it pass through the blood-brain barrier.


Nakano says that these features make GA11 an attractive drug candidate to target glioma stem-like cells in glioblastoma multiforme tumors.


This is an extremely important breakthrough, with the knowledge that, as Dr. Nakano points out: Glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, is a formidable cancer foe. Only two therapeutic improvements have appeared in the past 30 years for Glioblastoma multiform (GBM), increasing the average survival of patients from five months to 15 or 16 months.


Read more about his research here.