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γ-Tubulin Inhibitors

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the deadliest of brain cancers, with an average survival of only three months without treatment and fourteen months with treatment. GBM is also the most common of brain cancers. Until recently the only available treatments were surgery and radiation therapy. Anti-angiogenesis drugs have been tested, but with limited success. Temozolomide is considered to be the latest “wonder drug” for the treatment of glioblastoma patients. Its impact on survival is relatively minor, with 4.1% versus 1.3% of patients with progression-free survival after five years.

Tubulin-targeting drugs have been used for the treatment of many forms of cancer with great success. However, tubulin-targeting drugs are not currently used to treat brain tumors. The purpose of this project is to discover new tubulin-targeting compounds that specifically inhibit the types of tubulin that are associated with glioblastoma tumors. We hope that this will ultimately lead to major improvements in the survival of patients afflicted with GBM.


D.E. Friesen, K.H. Barakat, V. Semenchenko, R. Perez‑Pineiro, B.W. Fenske, J. Mane, D.S. Wishart, and J.A. Tuszynski, Discovery of small molecule inhibitors that interact with gamma‑tubulin, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 79:639-652 (2012). doi:10.1111/j.1747-0285.2012.01340.x