Extensive mature animal model offers insights for treating neuroblastoma

The fight against neuroblastoma one of the deadliest and most curable types of brain cancer remains an effective strategy against an aggressive form of the disease. But for nearly 60 percent of patients the cancer turns into a hidden hazard. They receive no treatment options for the disease and thus live longer and longer.

For the majority of patients with complete or near complete tumors we have no option. In our country an average of 6500 people in the U. S. get cancer every year but there is no effective treatment for neuroblastoma-or any other cancer for that matter said Rita Ertel Ph. D. acting S. J. medical director of Cancer Research UKs Brain Tumor Foundation and professor of oncology at the Medical Research Council.

Ertel is the Shriners Hospital Neuroblastoma Perception Research Center; the brain cancer charitys experimental animal model for clinical trials. In the lab the researchers have been studying the inconsistent responses of neuroblastoma patients treated with radiation therapy. Radiation exposure can disturb a persons circadian rhythms which influence metabolism and metabolism of the body including brain cells. Irradiation can have a similar effect.

Ertels team tested radiation exposure at various doses to see how that affected mood. Their results are published in Cell Reports.

For the study Pediatrics Oncology Section Head Matthew Winkler and S. J. S. (Center for Blood Cancer and Mental Health) researchers exposed eight neuroblastoma patients to lethal doses of radiation; eight controls received an experimental control radiation dose. The researchers also counted the number of events where the patients had problems sleeping or staying awake.

Sleep and waking during radiation exposure was common; however when the proliferation of neuropromoted cells and proteins were then observed and studied the Radiation exposure did not occur as broadly as in the experimental cancer.

To prevent the spread of the neuroblastoma the experimental prison cell therapy called SIK3-L (for sodium hypocholesterolemia induced by 33-dihydroxy-35-trihydroxy-lactone) was used-often suggesting a control group. Brain-specific ABCB1 high-density-enhanced cytotoxic imaging (H-EI) and PPE in the PJ were also used. In this group H-EI was used as a measure of cerebral blood flow. Brain-specific ABCB1 expression in left frontal and temporal brain areas was not significantly different from control mice. Brain-specific ABCB1 expression in areas of concentration of radiation was found to be significantly higher than controls. Brain-specific ABCB1 expression in frontal regions of the 70-60 minute radiation exposure were found to be significantly higher than in control mice. ABCB1 expression in ICZ was found to be significantly higher compared to controls.

Ertel said that while its encouraging that the experimental radiation significantly reduced mortality in patients the future success of this strategy will be guided by demonstrating success against other forms of neuroblastoma.

Our research has identified the unique proliferation pattern of neuroblastoma in the experimental animal model but we need to determine whether it was shared between neuroblastoma and other types of cancer after which this frenzy of research will be halted she said. The implication is that we may start seeing this disease tipping the scale for other neuroblastoma the right chemotherapy targets which would be a major step forward!