Already-Approved Treatments Could Be Tested in Fight Against Brain Metastasis

A recent review of research papers on brain cancers that have metastasized to the lungs has discovered that already-approved treatments could be clinically tested as potential therapies against brain metastasis. The University of Bristol study also discovered genetic differences between smokers and nonsmokers.

Brain cancer metastasis affects roughly 25,000 patients in the United Kingdom, with the cancers typically originating from the lungs or breasts and causing death in most of this patient class. Although substantial research efforts have been dedicated toward understanding primary lung cancer genetic mutation, much less is known about the cancer’s genetic environment once it spreads to the brain.

With this condition affecting tens of thousands of people globally, many researchers are now working to gain a deeper understanding of brain metastasis and to develop safe and effective treatments. The University of Bristol research team wanted to determine the genetic changes that occur in brain metastasis from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and figure out if there are already licensed pharmaceuticals that could aid in brain metastasis treatment.

The team reviewed 72 scientific papers on genetic mutations that occur in brain metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer from 2,346 patients with a focus on key factors such as genomic data, smoking status, a cancer cell protein called PD-L1 and matched primary NSCLC. The researchers found that the genes most likely to mutate in such patients were STK11, EGFR, KRAS, CDKN2A and TP53. They noted differences in genetic mutations between the primary lung cancer and subsequent brain metastasis as well as genetic differences between patients who smoked regularly and those who never smoked.

There were different missense mutations in EGFR and TP53 except for T790M and L858R in EGFR in smokers vs. nonsmokers. The study noted that 37% of the 10 commonly mutated genes with primary NSCLC data that the team assessed also displayed marked differences between brain metastasis and primary NSCLC.

Prior studies have also suggested differences in the genomic NSCLC landscape of smokers and nonsmokers with one study discovering that ROS1 and ALK fusions as well as EGFR mutations were more prevalent in patients who never smoked, while smokers displayed JAK2, JAK3, BRAF, TP53, KRAS and mismatch repair gene mutations. Furthermore, the researchers indicate that drugs that have already been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency may have potential in clinical trials for brain metastasis treatments.

Kathreena Kurian, study author, head of the Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of Bristol, and North Bristol NHS Trust professor of neuropathology and honorary consultant, says that based on their research, the team recommends that all brain metastasis patients be examined for mutations alongside primary lung cancer. She explained that the recently discovered evidence could lay the foundation for a slew of new clinical studies for non-small cell lung cancer patients with brain metastasis using already available drugs.

As currently approved cancer drugs are explored as possible treatments for brain metastasis, the novel drugs being developed by enterprises such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) can increase the options of the medicines available to people whose cancers have spread to the brain.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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