A study led by researchers at the Centenary Institute has identified a drug currently used to treat cancer patients, as a potential treatment option for a leading cause of stroke in young people.
Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM) occurs when abnormal and dilated thin-walled blood vessels form clusters in the brain; altering blood flow. The condition affects as many as 1-in-200 people, and can cause bleeding, epilepsy and stroke.
Currently, the only treatment for CCM is surgery, which is not always possible; highlighting the urgent need for non-invasive, pharmacological treatment options.
In a study published in highly-regarded scientific journal Science Advances, researchers from the Centenary Institute in Sydney and several other institutions in Australia and China, have identified the FDA-approved drug Ponatinib as a suitable candidate.
Lead author and Centenary Institute researcher, Dr Jaesung Peter Choi says it’s a significant step in the quest to find a suitable treatment for this debilitating disease.
“Our next goal is to synthesise derivatives of Ponatinib for specific use in CCM to maximise its efficacy, and to minimise any side effects,” says Dr Choi.
Dr Jaesung Peter Choi and Dr Xiangjian Zheng explain their research and the implications of their findings.