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

tors 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


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