According to a new study only recently made public, a drug (i.e. everolimus) that was initially designed to keep an individual's body from rejecting transplanted organs can also be used to shrink the brain tumors developed by patients suffering with the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC).
Dr. Franz, presently working with the TSC Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
, explains that, after just 42 weeks of being administered this drug, 35% of the patients who took part in this research witnessed their brain tumors being reduced to nearly half of their original size.
“Every patient in this study experienced a decrease in size of their tumors, and no patient required surgery for their tumors after treatment with everolimus,” Dr. Franz said.
Prior to this drug's being made available as a treatment alternative, most of the children and adolescents who developed said type of brain tumors had to undergo surgery in order to gain a better quality of life.
However, thanks to this drug's being supported by the US Food and Drug Administration, “Children and teens may not only avoid surgery but they also may see improvement in other aspects of this disease,” Dr. Franz believes.
In other words, the presence of everolimus in one's body inhibits and/or slows the cell growth typically associated with TSC.
As well as this, it was found to prevent or eliminate altogether the buildup of fluid inside the skulls of patients who develop this type of brain tumors.
Interestingly enough, there are some who claim that, because TSC and medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and autism share the mTOR pathway, everolimus could successfully be used to treat these other disorders as well, simply because it acts as an mTOR inhibitor.
Given the fact that, for the time being, about 50,000 people in the US and 1 million individuals worldwide are suffering with TSC, this comes as good news indeed.