Brain cancer breakthrough
QUEENSLAND scientists have identified a new
target for treating the deadliest of adult brain cancers.
They have discovered a protein, EphA3, that is present in about
half of all cases of the most common form of adult brain cancer,
known as glioblastoma multiforme.
Queensland Institute of Medical Research scientist Bryan Day
said EphA3 was particularly found in the most aggressive brain
He said the protein was believed to play a role in tumour
Dr Day said the discovery was exciting because an antibody
treatment, designed to target EphA3, was already undergoing trials
in leukaemia patients in the US.
His QIMR colleague Andrew Boyd first discovered EphA3 in
leukaemia cells more than 20 years ago and developed the
Dr Day has found that by binding the antibody, known as IIIA4,
to a radioactive isotope, the treatment has shown promise in animal
Human trials are at least two or three years away.
"We still need to do more testing in animals and then we need to
raise the funding," Dr Day said.
Glioblastoma multiforme is usually fatal, killing about 1000
Australians a year, most within two years of diagnosis.
Prof Boyd said new treatments were an "urgent clinical
The research is published today in the journal Cancer Cell.
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