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According to a new study, an experimental drug called Imetelstat might have a future in treating glioblastoma brain cancer and prostate cancer. The drug is also being tested in clinical trials as a treatment for lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphocytic leukemia.
The data, authored by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, suggests that Imetelstat can have a positive effect on tumor cells and cancer stem cells, which are believed to be the cause of most cancers' growth. Specifically, the drug targets a mechanism that forces cancer cells to continue to divide.
"Because it attacks a mechanism that's active in most cancers, it might prove to be widely useful, especially when combined with other therapies," said Dr Jerry Shay, a professor of cell biology at the university.
Clinical testing of mice with glioblastoma cancer showed that Imetelstat was able to cross from the blood stream into the brain, something most drugs cannot do.
The new drug gives particular hope to researchers as cancer stem cells tend to show a profound resistance to most conventional therapies.
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