Right now, DPIG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) can end the life of a child in as little as 9 months. It grows in the spinal column sending its tendrils to areas that control breathing and heartbeat. Radiation has little effect and effective chemotherapy has not been invented ….yet.
An international team of researchers from Stanford, Oregon Health Sciences, University of Paris-Sud, and Texas Tech have collaborated to find new options for this insidious brain tumor. The first step was to grow these cells in a petri dish. Then they screened 83 different drugs to see if the brain tumor cells were killed. They found a good candidate named panobinostat that slowed the growth of the cells.
In fact, mice that had DPIG tumors showed that the drug made it through the blood brain barrier and was able to lengthen survival time. If there is a partial response, perhaps combining it with another drug could be effective. Researchers found a drug, not yet approved by the FDA, called GSKJ4. When it was combined with panobinostat it worked better!
Read more at http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/05/existing-drug-may-treat-the-deadliest-childhood-brain-tumor.html