Treating Glioblastoma by a Combination Therapy of Gamma-secretase inhibitors and Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors


Scientists at Vanderbilt have developed a novel therapy for gliobastoma multiform that results in minimal recurrence of the tumor. The therapy combines two inhibitors that effectively compromise tumor cell growth and survival. The therapy can be followed by radiation, a common treatment for cancer cells.


Technical Background

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is among the most lethal human tumors with an average survival time of 14 months following diagnosis. The current standard of care involves maximal surgical resection of the tumor mass followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, such remedies result in local recurrence suggesting insufficient killing of tumorigenic cells.


A new method of treatment is to simultaneously target multiple central nodes of the signaling networks by combining gamma-secretase inhibitors that block Notch signaling and farnesyltransferase inhibitors that attenuate Ras and Rho GTPase activities. This combination synergistically inhibits GBM stem cell growth and survival and makes the cells more sensitive to radiation.



  • Provides a combination therapy that more effectively compromises glioblastoma tumor cell growth than current standard-of-care and single-agent treatments.
  • Provides a stronger efficacy than current treatments due to simultaneous targeting at multiple central nodes of signaling networks.
  • Provides a novel therapy that allows subsequent radiation therapy to be more effective.
  • Provides a synergistic therapy that can be further developed to treat other types of cancerous tumors.


Patents and Development

A provisional application has been filed. We are seeking either a licensing partner and/or a sponsored research agreement for further development. The existing proof of concept studies need to be further developed through clinical trials.

Licensing Contact

Karen Rufus

Tech ID:


Jialiang Wang