This thyroid drug could help treat pediatric brain cancer

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia found a thyroid drug could treat medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children.

The study, published April 4 in American Association for Cancer Research, looked at the relationship between medulloblastoma and thyroid hormone. It had been established that many patients had low levels of thyroid hormone linked to poorer outcomes, but the levels were thought to be caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 

Researchers used a thyroid drug called T3 on mice with medulloblastoma. The drug not only prevented tumor cells from becoming cancerous, it caused them to become normal cells, according to an April 17 news release from Fox Chase.

The team said it hopes to move toward a clinical trial with pediatric hospitals to investigate a potential combination of T3 and chemotherapy treatment.

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