- Published on 15 February 2018
Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston recently published the results of a mouse model study showing a new therapeutic combination that may be of interest in patients with neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) and other patient groups.
The findings showed that adding the targeted cancer therapy drug crizotinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, to radiation therapy for tumors associated with the genetic disorder NF2 may reduce the hearing damage potentially associated with radiotherapy.
“The hallmarks of NF2 are intracranial tumors called vestibular schwannomas, which typically lead to profound hearing loss,” explains Lei Xu, MD, PhD, co-corresponding author on the article. “For most patients, hearing loss is the most disabling symptom of these tumors, and the primary treatments for growing tumors – surgery and radiation therapy – can further damage hearing. The development of a novel therapeutic strategy with enhanced efficacy and minimal treatment-related hearing loss is urgently needed.”
The team used two mouse models: the sciatic nerve model and a new cranial window model. In both models, the use of crizotinib to block the target pathway improved treatment response by enhancing radiation-induced DNA damage, significantly reducing tumor growth and extending survival.