New Pediatric Brain Cancer Therapy

New therapy may mean less side effects for children receiving brain cancer treatment.


Hackensack Meridian Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is participating in a new study of 2-hydroxyoleic acid: “A Phase I Trial of 2-hydroxyoleic Acid in Children with Malignant Glioma and Other Advanced Solid Tumors.” This trial represents the first time that the therapy is available in the United States and the first time that it will be used in children. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is currently the only center where this study is available. The drug is believed to have fewer side effects compared to typical chemotherapy treatment. It also is the first drug to act by changing the cancer cell membrane. Research has found that the outer membrane of cancer cells is abnormal when compared to healthy cells, and that these abnormalities are required to initiate the signals that occur inside the cell and drive the cancer process. By changing the outside of the cell, 2-hydroxyoleic acid can stop these internal signals at their point of origin and return the cell back to its normal behavior.

This treatment is most promising for children with the most aggressive forms of brain and other solid tumors. It can be taken orally and has minimal side effects, making it an ideal option for children who have already gone through difficult treatments. The team hopes 2-hydroxyoleic acid will eventually be added to the short list of drugs approved specifically for pediatric cancer.

This study is supported by Tackle Kids Cancer, Matthew Larson Foundation for Pediatric Brain Tumors, Josephine’s Garden, and The Kortney Rose Foundation.

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