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Poway Woman First To Try Experimental Brain Cancer Treatment

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 01/21/2005

Poway Woman First To Try Experimental Brain Cancer Treatment

Thu Jan 20, 9:19 PM ET Local - KGTV

A Poway woman with brain cancer is the first to undergo a groundbreaking treatment that could help her beat the deadly disease.

Doctors from University of California, San Diego Medical Center are using a powerful toxin to kill two nickel-sized tumors that were found in the optical area of Lynn Moore's brain, 10News reported.

"I feel very positive that it's going to work," Moore said about the treatment.

The 62-year-old Poway grandmother has glioblastoma multiforme -- the most aggressive and deadly type of brain cancer.

UCSD neurosurgeon Dr. John Alksne said, "Fifty percent of the people are dead 13 months after diagnosis. It's terrible."

The tumors have tentacles and spread, 10News reported.

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the only treatments but they are not very successful. "We saw after radiation that tumors started growing back, which means (the tumors) didn't respond very positively to the radiation or chemo," Alksne said.

Moore is the first person in San Diego to undergo an experimental treatment that uses a drug combination with diphtheria. The malignant cancer brain cancer cells need iron to grow. The drug "transmid" combines molecular iron and the diphtheria toxin.

"Basically the cells think they are being fertilized but they are really being poisoned," Alksne said.

The powerful toxin is being delivered directly into Moore's brain tumors through two catheters. Pumps push it through the tumor and out into parts of the brain where new cancer cells are waiting to grow.

Results from earlier studies show promise.

"The phase 1 and 2 -- approximately 50 percent of the patients seemed to obtain some benefit. Some went into complete remission and for patients like this who have already failed radiation and chemo for a malignant brain tumor, that's very encouraging."

Moore firmly believes the experimental therapy will work for her and others who are fighting this deadly type of brain cancer.

"The toxin is getting out into those areas and its going to take care of them, kill them off," Moore said.

UCSD is looking for other patients with glioblastoma multiforme for this clinical trial.

For more information on how to enroll in this experimental drug trial, call UCSD Clinical Trials at (858) 657-7083.

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