Corina Anastasaki and Yuan Pan (MD Anderson) were recently invited to present their work for the cancer neuroscience session at the Pediatrics Society for Neuro-Oncology meeting in Washington D.C. (June 2023).
During this session, Drs. Anastasaki and Pan explained that neurons from people with NF1 who have cutaneous and plexiform neurofibromas are more active than those from people without neurofibromas. These hyper- “excited” neurons make more collagen, which makes the neurofibroma tumor cells grow faster. The most intriguing part of the study, though, is that a drug widely used to treat epilepsy in children (lamotrigine) can stop the neurons from being hyper-active, making extra collagen and effectively stop further neurofibroma growth. These findings are very exciting, as they support the use of an already approved, well-studied and well-tolerated drug for the potential management of neurofibromas in children with NF1. This work was published last year in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-30466-6.