Swedish Medical Center in Seattle announces a clinical trial in humans for the treatment of glioblastoma, based on investigational high throughput screening of FDA-approved compounds targeting a patient’s own tumor stem cells.
This trial will utilize a personalized approach for the treatment of tumor cells that have been screened against dozens of compounds, to find those drugs that are most effective in treating a patient’s own tumor. The clinical trial will be open to patients with initial diagnosis of glioblastoma, and it will require surgical resection of their tumor to be performed at the Swedish Neurosciences Institute in Seattle. Dr. Charles Cobbs and Dr. Parvinder Hothi are leading the trial. Dr. Cobbs is a neurosurgeon and the director of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment. The clinical trial is being supported by a grant from the Ben and Catherine Ivy foundation.
Once the patient’s tumor has been removed, the tumor cells will be grown under conditions which promote survival of the most dangerous cells within the tumor, called cancer stem cells. Once enough of these cells have grown in culture, a high throughput robotic system will be used to expose the cells to dozens of compounds that have been found to be promising in preliminary studies. The top candidates for any given patient will then be chosen, and a cocktail of 3 of these drugs will be tailored for the individual patient, and will be given to the patient at the time of their tumor recurrence. Studies of the tumor genomics will also be performed to increase our understanding of why certain drugs might provide benefit to a given patient. The hope is that this form of personalized cancer treatment based on a cocktail of drugs may inhibit cancer tumor stem cell growth, may lead to a new paradigm in cancer treatment, and could improve survival for patients with this deadly disease.
Patients and providers who are interested in further information should contact Rachel Iverson at the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle at (206) 320-2992.