Zotiraciclib, a New Treatment for Glioma, is Granted Orphan Drug Designation


The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) has been evaluating zotiraciclib, which is a new treatment for glioma. This drug has recently been granted the Orphan Drug designation by the FDA and European Medicines Agency, meaning it is for the treatment of a rare disease and has medical plausibility along with potentially significant benefits. This designation will allow for further research and development of this treatment, which will hopefully provide better treatment for those with glioma.

About Glioma

Glioma is a cancer that affects the central nervous system as it begins in the brain or the spinal cord. It is one of the most common types of primary brain tumors, and it can also present itself in three different types of tumors. These types include astrocytomas, which includes glioblastoma, ependymomas, and oligodendrogliomas. Different forms of glioma can influence the treatment and symptoms.

Glioma develops from the glial cells, which surround nerves and aid in their function. There are three different types of glial cells that can produce tumors, which corresponds to the three types of glioma. The cause of the malfunction of these glial cells is unknown, but there are risk factors that can contribute to the growth of a tumor. These factors include age(as brain tumors tend to affect those between 45 and 65), exposure to ionizing radiation, and a family history of glioma.

Symptoms of glioma vary depending on what type of tumor one has, along with the location, size, and rate of growth of the tumor. Common symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, decline in brain function, memory loss, changes in personality, irritability, problems with balance, urinary incontinence, issues with vision and speech, and seizures. These tumors can be life-threatening depending on their size and location.

Healthcare professionals urge people to see their doctors if they notice these symptoms. Once a diagnosis is obtained, treatment is dependent on the type of tumor, size, location, and rate of growth. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and experimental clinical trials.

About Zotiraciclib

Zotiraciclib is a multikinase inhibitor, which is a type of treatment that is meant to decrease tumor growth and replication. A study sponsored by NCI was meant to find the correct dosage to treat recurrent malignant gliomas. This study was nonrandomized and is evaluating the effects of zotiraciclib alone and when it is administered with radiation. Participants were elderly patients with astrocytomas, specifically gliobastoma. Data from the trial has been encouraging, and researchers are hopeful that it will continue to develop and better the lives of those with glioma.

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