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Can Antiandrogens Treat Human Glioblastomas?

Glioblastomas are human brain tumors that invade the normal brain tissue. Therefore, glioblastoma progresses fast, as nothing slows down the growth of brain cancer. There’s a high volume of androgen receptors in GBM- intrinsic therapy-resistant.

Can Antiandrogens be used to Kill Glioblastoma (GBM)?

Anti-androgens slow down the pace at which cancer repairs damaged DNA instigated by treatment. The slow down makes radiation therapy effective. Antiandrogens are used for patients with breast and prostate cancer.

According to research, the level of androgen receptors (AR) in a normal brain is lower than that in GBM tissue. Also, the level of AR in cell lines is significantly high. So, scientists believe that to slow down GBM, there is a need to silence AR in tissue and cell lines in patients.

Glioblastoma is more prevalent in men than in women. However, women have better outcomes than men. Oncologists believe that the high testosterone levels in men contribute to increased resistance to radiation due to elevated levels of androgen receptors.

GBM displays steroid hormone receptors and sexual dimorphism. Breast, brain, and prostate cancers are androgen positive. Researchers decided to use the same strategy they use for prostate and breast cancer treatment. They signalled through the androgen receptor to overcome resistance to radiation. 

Laboratory tests from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer reveal exciting results. According to the tests, antiandrogen makes the brain cancer sensitive to radiation therapy in patient-derived xenograft models and cell lines. Also, it inhibits the growth of patient-derived xenografts and AR-positive GBM cell lines.

Anti-androgen overcomes the blood-brain barrier, which is essential for brain cancer treatment.  Also, antiandrogens disable xenografts derived from GMB patients from engaging transcriptional programs after exposure to radiation. From the lab models, it’s clear that combining radiation with blood-brain antiandrogens leads to positive outcomes in AR-positive GMB patients.


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