A breakthrough solution to improve treatment management

Because of their biological properties, the presence of CSCs (Cancer Stem Cells) in aggressive cancers such as glioblastoma, an incurable primary brain tumor, leads conventional treatment to a therapeutic limit that is currently insurmountable.

Faced with this failure, it is necessary to devise a breakthrough therapeutic strategy, no longer based on the induction of cell death, but rather on the evolution of CSCs into a differentiated tumor cell, consequently indolent and more sensitive to conventional treatments.

This strategy, known as the "differentiating therapeutic strategy", has been developed by Dr Thierry Virolle's INSERM laboratory at the Valrose Institute of Biology, and the team's numerous publications confirm the relevance and feasibility of this approach, at least in the context of glioblastoma.


Next generation anticancer agent

To develop this differentiating therapeutic strategy at preclinical level, Dr Thierry Virolle's INSERM team identified a small compound, DV188, synthesized by the Nice chemistry institute, from among a thousand molecules. Using glioblastoma as a clinical model, the team demonstrated the efficacy of DV188 in inhibiting the aggressiveness of patient-derived CSCs, including resistance to standard chemotherapy (TMZ).

Following a premature and then maturation program funded by SATT SUD EST and Cancéropole PACA, the team provided in vivo proof of DV188's efficacy in neutralizing tumor initiation and progression in our orthotopic (in the brain) patient-derived CSC Xenograft (PDX) models in nude mice. Treatment with DV188 for several weeks never affected mouse survival. Most interestingly, treatment with DV188 significantly sensitized the tumor to the effects of standard chemotherapy, leading to a reduction in tumor size. These results are extremely encouraging for the therapeutic management of glioblastoma and, more generally, aggressive cancers.

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