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Brain cancer

Aurora kinases; polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1; STPK13)

Mouse and cell culture studies suggest inhibiting aurora kinases or PLK1 could help treat sonic hedgehog homolog (SHH)-associated medulloblastoma. In mouse tumor cells with enhanced SHH signaling, aurora kinase and PLK1 inhibitors decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis compared with vehicle. In a mouse model of SHH-associated medulloblastoma, a PLK1 inhibitor increased tumor cell apoptosis and decreased tumor growth compared with vehicle. Next steps include clinical testing of aurora kinase and PLK1 inhibitors in medulloblastoma.
At least 21 companies have aurora kinase or PLK1 inhibitors in Phase III testing or earlier to treat various cancers.

SciBX 6(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1215
Published online Nov. 7, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Markant, S.L. et al. Cancer Res.; published online Sept. 25, 2013;
Contact: Robert J. Wechsler-Reya, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif.