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Starving kidney cell tumours of glutamine
Starving kidney cell tumours of glutamine may halt their growth and destroy them. A novel approach currently being investigated.
A novel approach of attacking kidney cancer tumours is currently being investigated in a phase I trial. The glutaminase inhibitor CB-839 reduces the amount of glutamine that can enter the tumour cell. It has been shown that tumours require a vast supply of glutamine (an amino acid: protein building block) to grow and survive. So by inhibiting this supply of glutamine tumours growth is halted and they may die.
It is important to note that this research is in the very early stages of the clinical trials process. Phase I trials investigate the safety of the drug treatment and the effective dose. The clinical trial is in combination with the drug everolimus for patients with advanced kidney cancer who have previously been treated with a systemic drug therapy. So far, 8 patients have received this medication at varying doses and the drug has been well tolerated with no serious adverse events. One patient has had a partial response to the drugs, which means that the tumour will have reduced in size and the other 7 have stable disease, which means that the tumour has not increased in size. The average time that the patients have been taking the drug is 6.5 months.
The preliminary results of this trial look promising and we look forward to seeing what happens as the dose of this drug is potentially increased and also how it progresses through the clinical trial stages. We will keep you informed of any developments and are pleased to see that novel approaches to attacking kidney cancer continue to be developed.