TORONTO – If Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation get their way, a CA$33 million (US$24 million) initiative unveiled March 2 dramatically will increase patient access to made-to-measure ultrasound technology for penetrating the blood-brain barrier to treat Alzheimer's disease and brain cancer.
Tempe, Ariz.-based Gt Medical Technologies Inc. has won the U.S. FDA’s nod for an expanded indication for Gammatile therapy. With this decision, patients with newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors now are eligible to receive the FDA-cleared surgically targeted radiation therapy. Gammatile therapy offers an option vs. waiting several weeks for surgical wound healing before beginning treatment. Previously, the therapy was available for individuals with recurrent brain tumors.
Unlike with other kinds of cancer, there’s no opportunity for a biopsy ahead of surgery for a suspected brain tumor. To help matters, researchers have developed a novel approach that combines a new, commercially available imaging technology – stimulated Raman histology (SRH) – with an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to offer a diagnosis of brain tumors in just a couple of minutes. They published the results of a study in the Jan. 6, 2020, issue of Nature Medicine that determined their approach was noninferior to standard pathologist interpretation of histologic images.
Shares of San Diego-based Tocagen Inc. (NASDAQ:TOCA) fell 77.7% to 93 cents Thursday after its two-part immunotherapy for people with recurrent brain cancer failed to surpass standard of care on overall survival (OS), the primary endpoint of the company's phase III Toca 5 trial. Secondary endpoints in the registrational study were also missed, showing no meaningful difference between study arms.