Just last month, Arizona Senator John McCain lost his battle to an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. There are over 240,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide every year of this fatal cancer.
But now there is hope on the horizon.
Neuroscientists at Israel’s largest and most comprehensive hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer, have discovered a new drug called SIXAC that has the potential to cure these terminally ill patients.
In the first stage of testing, the effect of the drug on tumor cell cultures was found to reduce their rate of growth, their ability to create colonies and their ability to create extensions that penetrate the brain tissue.
The drug was then examined in animals with high-grade malignant brain tumors. When the drug was administered by direct injection into the brain tumor, it reduced tumor volume and had a life-extending effect. In about 10 percent of the animals, the drug significantly extended life and actually cured them of the disease.
“We continue to develop the drug and its administration, with the goal of administering the treatment in humans as soon as possible. The progress of research and development from now on will depend to a large extent on the financial investment in the project,” said neuroscientist Dr. Efrat Shavit-Stein, who has been working on the pioneering treatment.
Dr. Shavit-Stein along with her colleague, Professor Joab Chapman, are available for interviews.