This week in therapeutics




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Brain cancer

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In vitro and mouse studies suggest amphotericin B (AmpB) or other activators of microglia could help treat gliomas. In cultured, brain tumor-initiating cells from patients with glioma, media conditioned with microglia and macrophages decreased brain tumor-initiating cell proliferation and self-renewal capacity compared with media conditioned with astrocytes or neurons. The inhibition of cancer stem cell activity by the conditioned media was enhanced by AmpB, an antifungal agent, which activated microglia. In mice with intracranially injected human brain tumor-initiating cells, systemic AmpB increased macrophage and microglia recruitment and activation, decreased tumor volume and extended survival compared with vehicle. Next steps include testing AmpB in a clinical trial to treat glioblastoma.
AmpB is a generic antifungal.

SciBX 7(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.112
Published online Jan. 30, 2014

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Sarkar, S. et al. Nat. Neurosci.; published online Dec. 8, 2013;
Contact: V. Wee Yong, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada