Novartis’ Afinitor shrinks brain tumors in study

CHICAGO, June 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Novartis (NOVN.VX: ) AG’s cancer
drug Afinitor helped shrink benign brain tumors in patients
with a rare genetic disease called tuberous sclerosis, a small
study showed.

The tumors mostly affect children and adolescents and can
cause severe brain swelling. Surgery currently is the only
treatment option when the tumors are growing.

The study of 28 patients showed a significant reduction in
the size of the tumors, called subependymal giant cell
astrocytomas, in 75 percent of patients after six months of
treatment with Afinitor, also known as everolimus, Novartis
said.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the
American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Those patients for whom the treatment was effective saw a
reduction of 30 percent or greater in the size of their brain
tumors, Novartis said.

The findings also showed that everolimus was associated
with a clinically relevant reduction in the frequency of
patients’ seizures, the company said.

Tuberous sclerosis, a disorder that causes tumors to form
in many vital organs, affects an estimated 1 million to 2
million people worldwide. Of that total, about 5 percent to 20
percent develop the brain tumors.

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(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Novartis’ Afinitor shrinks brain tumors in study