Breakthrough brain cancer treatment moving forward at Cleveland State University

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 18:01:32-05

Brain cancer is a devastating disease, so lethal that two-thirds of the people diagnosed with it are dead within five years.

Dr. Anthony Berdis, an associate professor of biology and chemistry at Cleveland State University, is working to change that.

Dr. Berdis has been working on trying to develop better treatment of devastating diseases for the better part of a decade.

He has developed a novel therapeutic agent that improves the effectiveness of temozolomide — the only FDA-approved drug for treating brain cancer. The compound is designed to limit the spread of cancer cells.

“Thirty years ago, the goal really was to try to cure cancer. Realistically, the expectation now is to develop better treatments. We’re just trying to make the quality of life better, extend the lifespan,” Dr. Berdis said.

The compound, which has been thus far tested on mice, will go through toxicity studies and then FDA-approval before clinical trials can begin on human cancer patients in about three years.

The work is funded in part by the Department of Defense’s Medical Unit, which funds roughly two dozen research project areas. It was recently published in the American Association for Cancer Research.

“The goal is to really to help the military personnel that are exposed and get these diseases. but clearly the information that comes out from this research benefits everyone,” Dr. Berdis said. “So it’s a win-win.”