The insight from this new research at Agios is the first to reveal the function of the mutated IDH1 gene and provides critical insight into the mechanism by which this mutation leads to the development of brain cancer. Reports to date about the role of IDH1 have suggested that the gene functions as a tumor suppressor that, when mutationally inactivated, may contribute to brain tumor growth. The most recent research from Agios scientists published in Nature  suggests that it is activation of a metabolic pathway rather than inactivation of a tumor suppression function that is the likely process for oncogene function of IDH1.
A glioma is a type of cancer that starts in the brain or spine. It is called a glioma because it arises from glial cells. The most common site of gliomas is the brain, but gliomas can also affect the spinal cord or any other part of the CNS, such as the optic nerves. High grade gliomas currently cannot be cured and the prognosis for patients is generally poor; of the 20,000 Americans affected each year, more than half die within eighteen months of diagnosis. Gliomas are the most common type of brain cancer and approximately 70 percent of lower grade gliomas are known to have the IDH1 gene mutation.
About Cancer Metabolism
Cancer metabolism is a new and exciting field of biology that provides a novel approach to treating cancer. Cancer cell metabolism is marked by profound changes in nutrient requirements and usage to ensure cell proliferation and survival. Research in the field has demonstrated that cancer cells become addicted to certain fuel sources and metabolic pathways. In cancer, this metabolic reprogramming is coordinated with proliferative signaling and regulated by the same oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes to ensure efficient proliferation. Glycolysis (sugar metabolism), fatty acid metabolism and autophagy (self metabo
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