According to a story from BioSpace, the biopharmaceutical company DelMar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has recently announced an update to its Phase 2 clinical trial. This clinical trial is testing the experimental drug VAL-083 as a treatment for patients with MGMT-unmethylated glioblastoma. This trial has enrolled half of its expected complement of participants so far. DelMar is committed to the development of new anticancer therapies.
Glioblastoma is a rare brain cancer. It is also the most aggressive cancer to originate in the brain. It is characterized by its rapid progression and poor response to most treatments. In most cases, the cause of glioblastoma is not known. A small number of cases evolve from another type of tumor called an astrocytoma. Risk factors for glioblastoma include genetic disorders such as Turcot syndrome and neurofibromatosis, exposure to pesticides, smoking, and a career in petroleum refining or rubber manufacture. Symptoms of glioblastoma include personality changes, headaches, memory loss, seizures, vomiting, and nausea; patients may lose consciousness in late stages. Treatment approaches include anticonvulsants, steroids, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. While a small number of patients can survive for several years, treatment is often ineffective, with the tumor relapsing quickly. Five year survival rate is only three percent. To learn more about glioblastoma, click here.
About The Trial
This open label clinical trial is expected to enroll a total of 30 patients. The study will test the experimental product VAL-083 in combination with radiation therapy in patients with glioblastoma and an unmethylated MGMT gene promoter. Prior research has determined that the presence of this promoter, which appears in about 60 percent of glioblastoma cases, is associated with reduced response to treatment and lower survival rates.
A total of 11 of the 15 currently enrolled patients have received an MRI to monitor their response to treatment; five of these patients have displayed a complete response to the treatment.
Glioblastoma is a rare and dangerous form of cancer with a highly unmet medical need with very low rates of long term survival and treatment options that are largely ineffective. VAL-083 has earned Orphan Drug designation as a therapy for glioblastoma, medulloblastoma, and ovarian cancer. It has also earned Fast Track designation for the treatment of recurring glioblastoma.