Bambino Gesù trials groundbreaking therapy in treating brain tumours in children.
Rome children's hospital Bambino Gesù has developed what could be a breakthrough in treating aggressive and currently inoperable brain tumours in children.
The treatment involves a combination of gene and drug therapy which in laboratory trials inhibited the growth of gliomas, cancerous tumours that form when glial cells grow out of control, usually affecting the brain or the spine.
"The new treatment strategy has provided promising pre-clinical results and could represent the first step in successfully treating a proportion of patients suffering from this terrible form of cancer," said Franco Locatelli, head of the hospital's paediatric haematology and oncology department and president of Italy's Higher Health Council (CSS).
Researchers identified an experimental drug never tested on this illness (Linsitinib) that has been shown to effective in fighting cancer cells, particular when used together with Car-T gene therapy, reports news agency ANSA.
However despite the positive results, researchers say that human trials will not be immediate and that further trials are necessary to better understand how patients' immune systems would react to the treatment, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.