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Drug Shows Promise in Nervous-System Tumor Treatment

Posted 8 Jul 2009 by

WEDNESDAY, July 8 – U.S. researchers report the first successful drug treatment of tumors in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). In people with NF2, benign tumors develop throughout the nervous system. The most common tumor is a vestibular schwannoma, which grows on the nerve connecting the ear to the brain. This type of tumor, also called acoustic neuroma, causes hearing loss and can press on the brain stem, leading to serious neurologic symptoms and the risk of death. Currently, these tumors are treated with surgery or radiation. This study found that treatment with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin) shrank vestibular schwannomas, improved hearing and eased other symptoms in NF2 patients. Bevacizumab is an anti-cancer drug designed to reduce blood flow to tumors in order to shrink them. But the drug wasn't used on acoustic neuromas because it was believed that ... Read more

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