OCT 25, 2017 07:17 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
OCT 28, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 28, 2018
How NASA's Apollo Program Changed Spaceflight Forever
NASA’s Apollo program trekked carefully along the dangerous line separating risk from reward, and as it would seem, the American space agency may hav...
NOV 05, 2018
Videos
NOV 05, 2018
The Mechanisms Underlying the Deadly Blow of the Mantis Shrimp
The mantis shrimp packs a powerful punch that can strike its enemies with one of the fastest moves in the animal kingdom....
NOV 20, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 20, 2018
This Massive Impact Crater Was Hiding Underneath Greenland's Ice
After searching the ice-covered lands of Greenland, scientists have discovered what appears to be a massive impact crater that was previously hidden by mor...
NOV 21, 2018
Videos
NOV 21, 2018
Human Urine as Fertilizer?
Although at first it may sound unappealing, human urine could be a key asset in sustainable agriculture research particularly for its unique contribution....
NOV 25, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 25, 2018
What Would Happen if An Asteroid Slammed Into One of Earth's Oceans?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if an asteroid plopped right into one of Earth’s oceans? Curious researchers wanted to know too, and so they...
DEC 03, 2018
Cancer
DEC 03, 2018
Using bubbly nano-particles for chemotherapy delivery
We have all heard about the harsh side effects of chemotherapy that could be so difficult leading to stopping treatment. The reason behind those side effects is that chemotherapy drugs do tar...
Loading Comments...