Silybilin and Glioblastoma

21 December 2020 1 By Roberto Pugliese

A few days ago I received a call from Michele Elefanti from Health4U, a start-up that develops food supplements. Michele was instructed to contact me by the son of a patient suffering from glioblastoma multiforme. Michele’s company markets a silibilin-based product that appears to block brain metastases, as reported in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

In the article cited, a team of Spanish and Italian researchers found that STAT3, an oncogene that promotes tumor development and whose inactivation leads to the arrest of the proliferation of cancer cells, is present in very high percentages in patients with brain tumors.

In the same clinical study, a substance was identified, Silibinin, which in appropriate dosages produces important clinical effects as it affects STAT3. Silibinin is a derivative of Milk Thistle and has been used for years as a hepatoprotector and therefore is a generic drug, no longer patentable.

Michele therefore decided not to leave this hopeful but “orphan” study of the investments of the “Big Pharma” in the drawer and put on the market a product consistent with the guidelines of the aforementioned study. Michele is finding on his path doctors who like him are not willing to leave these hopes ignited by the publication of Nature Medicine in the drawer and together with them, their commitment and their desire to fight brain tumors is preparing, even if with limited resources , specific clinical studies for glioblastoma.

We therefore hope that Michele and the doctors he is collaborating with will succeed in their intent and we hope that clinical studies will soon provide us with a new weapon to fight gioblastoma multiforme.