Brain cancer breakthrough

Researchers have found that abnormal dopamine regulation, associated with Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is also a key factor in glioblastoma cell growth.

By profiling the cancer cell’s genome, researchers discovered that many of the genes required for its growth are also required for dopamine receptor function.

In pre-clinical studies designed to test the association, dopamine antagonists such as haloperidol, designed to neutralise the effects of dopamine, were found to exert significant anti-tumour effects on the cancerous cells.

The drug’s effects were also amplified when combined with existing anti-glioblastoma drugs that target the cell’s other growth pathways.

Researchers said the findings could mean that drugs, already