Clinical trials and immunotherapy for brain tumors

Joon H. Uhm, M.D., Jan C. Buckner M.D. and Nadia N. Laack, M.D. discuss Mayo Clinic's latest areas of research for care of adults and children with brain cancer.

Mayo Clinic is constantly advancing medical science by creating new therapies for the treatment of brain cancer. One such clinical trial focus area includes immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is an intervention that activates a person's own immune system to attack cancer cells. Though currently experimental, immunotherapy offers promising treatment for patients with brain tumors.

Targeted therapies work on areas of weakness within the tumor's cells. By targeting a specific drug at the point of weakness, these therapies are typically more specific and effective. Targeted therapy clinical trials look to reduce associated symptoms, including fatigue.

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy is a new technology in which a person's immune cells are removed and infected with a gene that allows the cells to go directly to the tumor but not to the rest of the body. This is an example of a targeted immunotherapy currently in development.

Other clinical trials and cutting-edge research for brain cancer include reducing memory loss associated with treatment. Mayo Clinic has developed several diagnostic and treatment options that are now used for patients with brain tumors, including the genetic testing of a tumor to determine the most effective course of treatment.


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