Shrinking brain tumours and opening the door for targeted cancer therapies

A new drug, known as IP1867B, could be used for future treatments of brain tumours, a study involving researchers from the University of Liverpool has found.

A team led by the Brain Tumour Research Centre at University of Portsmouth, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, University of Algarve and Innovate Pharmaceuticals, showed that IP1867B worked with existing cancer treatments boosting their effectiveness and, in some cases, restored sensitivity to some treatments.

The success rate for cancer therapies has been limited due to a combination of factors, such as the tumour’s ability to hide from and develop resistance to the treatment; excessive side effects; the treatment not being clinically effective; and the lack of penetration through the blood brain barrier – IP1867B  was shown to be effective at avoiding all of these limiting factors.

In the study, IP1867B (which is a combination of aspirin, triacetin and saccharin) was shown to reduce the size of adult high-grade glioma brain tumours in a mouse model, while reducing the gastrointestinal tract problems experienced when conventional aspirin tablets are taken. This research suggests that IP1867B could be effective against glioblastoma (GBM), one of the most aggressive forms of human brain cancer, which kills thousands of patients within a year.

Professor Mark Pritchard and Dr Carri Duckworth from the University’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology are co-authors of the new study, which is published in the journal Cancer Letters.

Research reference:

IP1867B suppresses the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) ablating epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor resistance in adult high grade gliomas, Cancer Letters, doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2019.05.028