Navigation Links
Genetic Mutations Linked to Deadly Brain Cancer
Date:2/18/2009

Tests could one day individualize treatment, researcher says

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers report that they've discovered two genetic mutations that play an important role in the development of some particularly dangerous types of brain tumors.

The findings "open a completely new avenue" to better treatments for one of the most deadly forms of cancer, said Dr. Hai Yan, lead author of a study published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the moment, the research doesn't appear likely to result in immediate benefits for patients. But ultimately, it may allow physicians to "understand what kind of tumor patients have and give them the right treatment," said Yan, an assistant professor of pathology at Duke University, in Durham, N.C.

At issue are brain tumors known as gliomas. About 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with the tumors each year -- the most famous current patient is Senator Edward Kennedy -- and the prognosis is grim. While the cancer typically doesn't spread to other parts of the body, it can create havoc in the brain and cause death within months.

The tumors are hard to treat. Chemotherapy and radiation can damage healthy brain tissue and only allow patients to live a few months longer. The only effective drug appears to extend lifespan for just a couple of months, Yan said.

Surgery is an option, but "gliomas generally spread in the brain the way roots spread from a plant," Yan said. "It is very difficult to completely remove the tumors."

In the new study, Yan and colleagues found that two genetic mutations appear in more than 70 percent of certain kinds of these tumors.

"You could use these genes to distinguish a subtype of glioma," Yan said. "Two tumors may look like a duck and walk like a duck, but the two tumors may be quite different."

Once a test determines the type of a glioma in a patient, doctors could conceivably choose from an array of treatments. "You can give one kind of patients one kind of drug, and others another kind of drug," Yan said.

That kind of tailored treatment awaits on the horizon. But for the time being, a genetic test that costs less than $100 could provide information to patients about their prognosis by revealing the type of tumor they have, Yan said.

The results are promising because they reveal that there two distinct types of tumor, said Dr. Craig Thompson, chairman of the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Cancer Biology and Medicine.

"They are caused by different mutations and therefore are likely to respond to different therapies," said Thompson, who wrote a commentary accompanying the study. "Before this, we did not know what caused these tumors."

More information

Learn more about brain cancer from the National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: Hai Yan, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Pathology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Craig Thompson, M.D., chairman, Department of Cancer Biology and Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Feb. 19, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Genetics May Help Fine-Tune Warfarin Dosage
2. Exploring Genetic Link Between Migraines, Cardiovascular Trouble
3. Researchers identify novel genetic markers linked to increased risk of heart attack
4. Genetic Code of Common Cold Cracked
5. Study: Genetic Risk for Substance Use Can be Neutralized by Good Parenting
6. Study: Genetic risk for substance use can be neutralized by good parenting
7. BioInformatics, LLC, A Recognized Sponsor of First Annual Consumer Genetics Show in Boston, June 9-11, 2009
8. Genetic Test for Heart Disease Risk in the Works
9. ANA and ISONG Co-Publish Genetics and Ethics in Health Care: New Questions in the Age of Genomic Health
10. American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Unveils New Website: ACMG Foundation Supports Medical Genetics Research, Education and Practice
11. Interleukin Genetics to Present at G-2 Reports Molecular Diagnostic Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genetic Mutations Linked to Deadly Brain Cancer
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson ... Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. ... the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have ... these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as ... Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  In a startling report released today, ... residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid ... ranking of how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in ... states – Kentucky , New Mexico ... . Of the 28 failing states, three – ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: