OCT 25, 2017 7:17 AM PDT

Can Arsenic Be a Treatment for Brain Cancer?


When you think about arsenic, you might think it's poisonous and it is, at higher doses, but it's also a lifesaver for those who have cancer or other illnesses. Arsenic Trioxide is the main ingredient in a cancer drug used to treat a very rare form of leukemia called Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia or APL as it's known. New research from Northwestern University suggests the drug could also be effective against another kind of cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This form of cancer is an aggressive brain illness that often strikes children. Drugs, surgery, and radiation are typically used to treat it, but five-year survival rates are very low, and the prognosis is not good for those who are diagnosed with it.

The team at Northwestern found adding arsenic trioxide to a common regimen of temozolomide and radiation could help some patients. While the Phase 2 clinical trials showed it wasn't effective in all cases, looking at the data, the researchers felt that it would be a good option for some sub-groups of patients with brain cancer. The effectiveness of it varied depending on the genetic subtype of GBM that patients had. Since these tumors often have different underlying genetic signatures, the drug is only useful in some of them.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUL 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Should We Fly By Venus on the Way to Mars?
JUL 07, 2020
Should We Fly By Venus on the Way to Mars?
After landing on the Moon, heading to Mars became the next logical step for space exploration. Some suggest that flying ...
JUL 29, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Molecular Footloose: Carbon Monoxide Molecules "Square Dance" with Each Other
JUL 29, 2020
Molecular Footloose: Carbon Monoxide Molecules "Square Dance" with Each Other
The act of "dancing" is not limited to humans, as scientists recently discovered. According to a group of Holl ...
AUG 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
AUG 22, 2020
Are There More Rogue Planets than Stars?
Researchers from Ohio State University have theorized that there may be more rogue planets (planets that don't orbit ...
SEP 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Could There Be Life on Venus?
SEP 10, 2020
Could There Be Life on Venus?
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, reaching 465 degrees Celcius- a temperature hot enough to melt lead. Wh ...
SEP 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
SEP 11, 2020
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
As reflected by Moore's law, the semiconductor industry has observed a tremendous growth in microelectronics in the ...
OCT 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
OCT 02, 2020
A New Way of Building Houses: 3-D Printing with Clay
Our ancestors had a long history of building dwelling structures using clay and plant-based fibrous materials. Even thes ...
Loading Comments...