Glioblastoma is known to be an aggressive form of brain cancer with high resistance to cell death and poor response to existing healing methods. All of this leaves us keen on exploring new treatment possibilities.
Not long ago, a big medical science enthusiast Doctor Evangelos Michelakis and his team performed series of research related to the treatment of GBM (Glioblastoma multiforme). It was figured out that an ideal therapeutic agent should be able to cross the blood brain barrier and selectively affect cancer cells without harming the healthy tissue of the body.
Indeed, their choice, Sodium Dichloroacetate, had such characteristics and appeared to display no hematologic, cardiac, renal or hepatic toxicity. This lead the researchers to one of the most notable studies related to DCA with live patients which later on guided to the following discoveries.
It appears that DCA induces cancer cell death, decreases the tumor vascularity and slows down growth of the Glioblastoma malignancy. Most importantly, it seems that Dichloroacetate could serve effectively in combination therapy with other treatments against this particular type of deadly brain cancer.
Since Glioblastoma multiforme is a significantly vascular tumor, the process of new blood vessel growth carries a huge impact in determining the cancers nourishment and expansion. Sadly, the acidic environment of the malignant cells also promotes the breakdown of the interstitial matrix which leads to metastasis through blood vessels and the worsening of the cancer-sufferers condition. Surprisingly, it appeared that DCA slowed down the formation of new capilliaries in Glioblastoma. The post-DCA brain cancer tissue had significantly decreased vascularity and a reduced network of blood vessels.
Furthermore, it was demonstrated that DCA promotes apoptosis and decreases cancer growth in Glioblastomas. Not all drugs are able to cross the blood-brain barrier but apparently dichloroacetate was just the right size to complete such a task and induce its specific anti-cancer effect.
The team of scientists had a remarkable opportunity to compare pre-DCA and post-DCA treatment brain tissue of live patients. They found out that after the treatment the tissue exhibited fewer cancer cells which was a result of an increased number of malignant cell death and reduced proliferation of Glioblastoma multiforme. The brain scan images displayed the same pleasing results:
Finally, the study proved that DCA in combination with other treatments could be a promising way to fight GBM. The researchers suggest that such a non-toxic substance like dichloroacetate could be used before and after radiotherapy and surgery. They also mention that DCA may increase the potential of standard therapies. Currently, TMZ (temozolomide) serves as a popular choice of treatment against GBM. The study suggests that apoptosis of malignant cells can be further increased by combining DCA and TMZ.
This information leaves us thrilled and guessing - may this be a new effective approach towards this incurable cancer?
This choice of treatment appears to have good safety and exert anticancer results. The small study proved that DCA could be an essential missing part of the GBM treatment. Hopefully, more and more studies will be directed towards this alternative view of dealing with Glioblastoma.
If you're interested in the study, please read more below:
Metabolic Modulation of Glioblastoma with Dichloroacetate