New Hyde Park, NY
This is a study to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug, mebendazole, when used in combination with standard chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. Mebendazole is a drug used to treat infections with intestinal parasites and has a long track record of safety in humans. Recently, it was discovered that mebendazole may be effective in treating cancer as well, in particular brain tumors. Studies using both cell cultures and mouse models demonstrated that mebendazole was effective in decreasing the growth of brain tumor cells.
This study focuses on the treatment of a category of brain tumors called gliomas. Low-grade gliomas are tumors arising from the glial cells of the central nervous system and are characterized by slower, less aggressive growth than that of high-grade gliomas. Some low-grade gliomas have a more aggressive biology and an increased likelihood of resistance or recurrence.
Low-grade gliomas are often able to be treated by observation alone if they receive a total surgical resection. However, tumors which are only partially resected and continue to grow or cause symptoms, or those which recur following total resection require additional treatment, such as chemotherapy. Due to their more aggressive nature, pilomyxoid astrocytomas, even when totally resected, will often be treated with chemotherapy. The current first-line treatment at our institution for these low-grade gliomas involves a three-drug chemotherapy regimen of vincristine, carboplatin, and temozolomide. However, based on our data from our own historical controls, over 50% of patients with pilomyxoid astrocytomas will continue to have disease progression while on this treatment. We believe that mebendazole in combination with vincristine, carboplatin, and temozolomide may provide an additional therapeutic benefit with increased progression-free and overall survival for low-grade glioma patients, particularly for those with pilomyxoid astrocytomas.
High grade gliomas are more aggressive tumors with poor prognoses. The standard therapy is radiation therapy. A variety of adjuvant chemotherapeutic combinations have been used, but with disappointing results. For high-grade gliomas this study will add mebendazole to the established combination of bevacizumab and irinotecan to determine this combinations safety and efficacy