A top UVA Health cancer expert is highlighting how a new drug could transform how doctors treat a brain tumor that typically strikes younger people.
David Schiff, MD, the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Neurology, Neurological Surgery and Medicine and co-director of UVA Cancer Center’s Neuro-Oncology Center, has authored an editorial in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine describing the potential significance of the drug vorasidenib for patients with tumors known as “grade 2 IDH-mutant gliomas.” The drug, when tested in the INDIGO clinical trial, was found to slow tumor growth significantly and extended the average time until the tumor started growing from 11.1 months to more than 27 months.
If the drug receives approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, it would become the first targeted therapy for low-grade gliomas. But Schiff notes that there are also other recent advances that are improving our understanding of such gliomas.
“It used to be that we thought of all gliomas as being on a spectrum,” Schiff said. ”We now understand that those with the IDH gene mutation have a markedly different biology, outcome and, as this study shows, vulnerabilities that new therapies can exploit.”
Read full press release in the UVA Health newsroom.