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Clinical Trial of Therapy For Recurrent Brain Tumors Launched

Cedars-Sinai selected as the only center in California to participate in multi-site study 

Los Angeles - April 15, 2010 - Patients suffering from recurrent brain tumors called meningiomas may be eligible to participate in a Phase II clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Cochran Brain Tumor Center. The study uses an innovative drug that may stop tumor cells from growing abnormally.

Cedars-Sinai is one of eight centers in the nation offering this experimental therapy.

Meningiomas are the second most common primary brain tumors in adults. Most are benign, slow-growing lesions, but in some cases, more aggressive high-grade meningiomas can recur following treatment with surgery and radiation.

The drug, SOM230C, works by targeting molecular pathways to slow the growth of cells and reduce the secretion of hormones that can trigger tumors. Although chemotherapeutic agents have not shown significant results in treating recurrent disease, this drug has been used in the treatment of other tumors and results from those studies suggest that SOM230C may help to stop the growth of meningiomas.

While all meningiomas share certain characteristics, they don’t all behave in the same way. This patient trial is specifically designed for those whose tumors are highly aggressive or even malignant, and have recurred or progressively worsened after being surgically removed and treated with radiation. The drug is also an FDA approved agent for the treatment of other disorders, including acromegaly (a pituitary disorder that results in the production of too much growth hormone), carcinoid syndrome (a type of gastrointestinal cancer that includes such symptoms as facial flushing, wheezing, diarrhea, and a fast heartbeat), and diarrhea from pancreatic VIPoma (a type of pancreatic tumor).

Patients in the study will receive a monthly injection of the drug. Additional information on the clinical trial is available by calling 310-423-3062.

The clinical trial is being led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and includes investigators at Cedars-Sinai and six other treatment centers across the nation, including Northwestern University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Duke University Medical Center and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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