Also: Immune-activating gene therapy for gliobastoma shows promise, and a big step forward in the Ebola fight  

Two New Ebola Drugs Great Improve Survival for Ebola Patients

(The Washington Post, Claire Parker, 8/13/19)

Two experimental Ebola treatments significantly increase survival rates for those infected with a disease often considered a death sentence, scientists announced Monday, providing fresh hope for containing an outbreak that has ravaged eastern Congo. The drugs, tested in a nearly nine-month clinical trial, have performed so well that health professionals will now administer them to every patient in Congo.

A Boost for Glioblastoma Research

(The Scientist, Ruth Williams, 8/14/19)

An inducible, tumor-localized gene therapy has been tested for the first time in glioblastoma patients. The two-part approach, which involves receiving an injection of an immune-activator gene into the brain tumor site and swallowing a pill that switches on the gene, resulted in the production of the activator—interleukin 12 (IL-12)—and an infiltration of immune cells into tumor tissue, according to a report in Science Translational Medicine today (August 14). The results also hint that patients’ survival may be prolonged by the treatment.

TB Drug Combo Highly Effective in XDR TB

(Nature News, Amy Maxmen, 8/14/19)

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug regimen to treat an extreme form of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Nearly 90% of people infected with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB who took this treatment during a clinical trial recovered in 6 months. The average success rate for drug regimens currently used to treat XDR TB is around 34%. One drug in the combination — called pretomanid — is only the third new TB therapy to be approved globally in nearly 50 years.

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Regina Kelder