Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have reported the first successful use of a targeted therapy drug to treat a debilitating craniopharngioma that recurred after four surgical procedures. (Craniopharyngiomas are brain tumors located near critical cranial structures like optic and cranial nerves, and the hypothalamus.) The team used the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib to shrink the patient’s BRAF-mutant craniopharyngioma tumor, in combination with surgery and radiation.
After more than a year of dabrafenib treatment, the patient’s tumor has not recurred.
The study was also funded in part by the American Brain Tumor Association.
ABTA grant-recipient Priscilla Brastianos, MD of MGH Cancer Center, commented: “This has the potential of completely changing the management of papillary craniopharyngiomas, which can cause lifelong problems for patients like visual defects, impaired intellectual function and pituitary/ hormonal dysfunction.”
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