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Ivy Brain Tumor Center Launches New Clinical Trial For Recurrent Glioblastoma

  • May 26, 2020

Accelerated early-phase study will evaluate the combination of two targeted therapy drugs

(PHOENIX, AZ – May 26, 2020) – The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute announced that patient recruitment has opened for a Phase 0 clinical trial to evaluate two targeted therapy drugs, abemaciclib and LY3214996. The study will evaluate central nervous system (CNS) penetration in patients with recurrent glioblastoma scheduled for resection. This is the first time a combination of these two drugs will be tested in brain tumor patients.  

CDK4/6, or cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6, are two proteins found in cells that accelerate growth and division. Abemaciclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, has the ability to block these proteins from dividing. 

ERK proteins transmit a signal from the surface of a cell to the nucleus that triggers division. LY3214996, an ERK1/2 inhibitor, is a small-molecule drug that can stop the signal and block cancer cell growth. 

“The goal of this study is to confirm that both abemaciclib and LY3214996 are uniquely capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and effectively hitting their molecular targets in the patient tumor cells. By blocking alternate escape routes, we hope to see this drug cocktail provide survival benefit in patients with the appropriate genetic markers,” said Shwetal Mehta, PhD, deputy director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. 

The Ivy Center’s innovative Phase 0 clinical trials program has evolved the traditional Phase 0 design by incorporating a ‘trigger’ that advances brain tumor patients into a therapeutic Phase 2 study arm if the drugs are having the desired effects in an individual patient. 

“Time is the most important commodity for brain tumor patients. At the Ivy Center, we can identify evidence of drug effects within 10 days of surgery, allowing the patient to either move forward with the experimental drug cocktail or enroll in another clinical trial without losing time,” said Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. 

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center is now screening patients for this study and will enroll up to 50 patients within one year. 

Ivy Brain Tumor Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ is a non-profit translational research program that employs a bold, early-phase clinical trials strategy to identify new treatments for aggressive brain tumors, including glioblastoma. The Ivy Center’s Phase 0 clinical trials program is the largest of its kind in the world and enables personalized care in a fraction of the time and cost associated with traditional drug development. Unlike conventional clinical trials focusing on single drugs, its accelerated trials program tests therapeutic combinations matched to individual patients. Learn more at IvyBrainTumorCenter.org. Follow the Ivy Brain Tumor Center on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.