The recently conducted ‘basket’ trials by cancer researchers —UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center— are found to be productive as the research may lead to the invention of a new precision medicine for neurodegenerative diseases.
According to the basket trials, the patients fighting with different forms of cancer —may it be based on any other biological approach or shared genetics— were grouped together for a common treatment. The researchers were aware of the fact that most of the cancer types varying from breast cancer to ovarian cancer share a basic biology often and this realization led to the idea of conducting basket trials of cancer patients. The same method, when used for developing the precision medicine on melanoma as well as the lung cancer versions due to commonly inherited deficiencies, was found effective for treating cancer patients.
In a similar way, the researchers have examined the clinical trials for patients with Alzheimer and Dementia. Both the diseases with sheer differences in their symptoms — such as memory impairments in Alzheimer as well as personality and decision-making crumbling found in frontotemporal Dementia — share a common thread between them. The expansion of various misfolded protein types in brain leads to brain cells fatality as well as consistent loss in functions of the brain is a common symptom in Alzheimer and frontotemporal Dementia.
During the oncology, the basket trials successfully identified the common thread —misfolded protein expansion— for neurodegenerative diseases which has proved that a precision medicine must be formulated to deal with the underlying biology behind the cancers.
According to UCSF MAC neurology professor Adam L. Boxer —director, Alzheimer and Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Clinical Trials Program— this new research based on clinical basket trials will provide potential in accelerating the drug development for Alzheimer, Dementia and various neurodegenerative ailments. The research will be published in JAMA Neurology by UCSF MAC researchers.
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