LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLSN), a leading oncology drug development company, announced today that the company is formalizing a program to pursue the development of ThermoDox® to investigate applications for treating brain cancer tumors, notably Glioblastoma Multiforme or GBM. In addition to jointly submitting multiple grant applications, the company is also pursuing preclinical studies in collaboration with Dr. Costas D. Arvanitis at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Experiments will study the use of ThermoDox in combination with MR guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to treat brain tumors, initially in animal models.
"Brain cancer tumors represent a very high unmet medical need, and researchers have been pursuing applications with HIFU for many years," said Nicholas Borys, MD, Celsion's Chief Medical Officer. "We are excited to investigate the addition of ThermoDox, our heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, which could provide some clinical benefit for a population that desperately needs more applications."
Dr. Arvanitis, research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School stated, "We have investigated the use of MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat brain tumors for many years and have identified the need for drugs that will improve our ability to treat brain tumors. We are excited about this drug design, which is positioned to work with heat and specifically HIFU, and its potential to cross the blood-brain barrier and potentially demonstrate drug concentration in ways that other drugs cannot. We are grateful for Celsion's support in this research and look forward to pursuing this initial, pre-clinical research with the hope of bringing this application to the clinic in the future."
About Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) Brain TumorsGlioblastoma multiforme (GBM), WHO classification name "glioblastoma", is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans, involving glial cells and accounting for over 50% of all functional tissue brain tumor cases and nearly 20% of all intracranial tumors. In 2013, projected US incidence of brain tumors approaches 23,000 cases, with projected mortality at 14,000. Treatment can involve chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Median survival with standard-of-care radiation and chemotherapy is normally 15 months, and Median survival without treatment is approximately 4½ months.