Cincinnati Children's Blog

Research Shows that Anti-Depressant Medication May Combat Medulloblastoma

A research team led by scientists at the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute (CBDI) at Cincinnati Children’s reported in Nature Medicine that repurposing anti-depressant medication may help combat one of the most common brain cancers in children, medulloblastoma. The repurposed medication would be used to target a novel molecular pathway that causes the cancer.

The researchers suggest that their laboratory findings in mouse models of the disease could lead to a more targeted and effective molecular therapy that would also reduce the harmful side effects of current treatments, which include chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.

“Although current treatments improve survival rates, patients suffer severe side effects and relapse tumors carry mutations that resist treatment,” said lead investigator Dr. Qing Richard Lu, scientific director of the Brain Tumor Center, part of the CBDI at Cincinnati Children’s. “This underscores an urgent need for alternative targeted therapies, and we have identified a potent tumor suppressor that could help a subset of patients with an aggressive form of medulloblastoma.”

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