Scientists have uncovered the genetic drivers behind a deadly form of brain cancer. This discovery has been likened to finding the cure for cancer. Experts say successful research into the deadly glioblastoma brain cancer could be applied to other forms of cancer to help beat the disease completely. While in the early stages, this discovery will have bold impact around the world in understanding and treating cancer.
These scientists say that their findings could lead to more personalized therapies for those suffering with glioblastoma.
According to Medical News Today, researchers found a variety of genetic mutations that can fuel the development of glioblastoma. The scientists also identified two genetic mutations that drive chemoresistance in glioblastoma tumors, which could lead to personalized treatment strategies for this specific type of brain cancer.
These findings could lead scientists right back to the source of the deadly brain cancer, which means they will be able to help treat it more effectively, or even come up with preventative measures. Other forms of cancer could also be tackled in a similar way.
Sidi Chen, from the Systems Biology Institute at Yale University, along with colleagues from the facility, published their findings in the Nature Neuroscience Journal. The discoveries have sent shockwaves through the medical profession, because the findings have provided one of the most comprehensive and feasible papers put forward on tackling this deadly form of brain cancer.
Genetic Breakthrough Treats Cancer
“Also referred to as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), glioblastoma is a deadly, fast-growing brain cancer that develops from astrocytes, a type of star-shaped glial cell that normally provides neuronal support,” Medical News Today writes.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons found that glioblastomas accounts for more than 50% of all primary brain tumors, and are most common among adults between the ages of 45 and 70.
“When it comes to treating glioblastomas, surgery is often the first port of call, though it is rare that the entire tumor can be safely removed. As such, surgery is usually followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy,” the website adds.
To date, scientists have pinpointed gene mutations as the main cause of glioblastoma. Identifying the genes responsible has been the main task of this body of research, dedicated to determining the source.
The team perfected their research by using the sophisticated “CRISPR gene editing and a genetic screening technique to search for combinations of genetic mutations that might fuel glioblastoma formation in the brains of mice.”
“From an analysis of more than 1,500 genetic combinations in the mice, the researchers identified a number of genes, including B2m-Nf1, Mll3-Nf1, and Zc3h13-Rb1, that work together to cause glioblastomas,” researchers found. “The team also identified two gene mutations – Zc3h13 and Pten – that affect the gene expression of Rb1 mutations, which increases resistance to the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.”
These scientists say that their findings could lead to more personalized therapies for those suffering with glioblastoma, and possibly help them pinpoint the areas which need more work to combat the disease.
While this research means tremendous progress, it could take many more years to precisely discover a way to eliminate the underlying cause of cancerous diseases. However, this bold team has successfully propelled the scientific community forward in their quest to cure cancer.