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University of Cincinnati team to track tumor DNA through bloodstream
Date:4/4/2011

colon and breast cancer.

Treatment of glioblastoma continues to present a major challenge to neurosurgeons and neuro-oncologists. "It is an aggressive, highly malignant tumor with unclear boundaries," says co-investigator Ronald Warnick, MD, director of the UC Brain Tumor Center and chairman of the Mayfield Clinic. "Because of its diffuse nature, surgeons are unable to remove it completely, and it will grow back in the majority of patients. Our ultimate aim is to find a way to keep the infiltrating glioblastoma cells from growing into adjacent, healthy tissue."

Following surgery to remove the maximum amount of tumor tissue possible, study participants will undergo the standard of care for glioblastoma, which includes radiation followed by chemotherapy.

Simultaneously, researchers will follow abnormalities in the study participants' blood, taking very small blood draws (15 milliliters) before and after surgery.

"There will be some circulating DNA in the blood coming from the tumor, and we will follow those very specific abnormalities," said Rixe, the study's principal investigator. "It is very much a personalized study, because we are not talking about the genetic abnormalities of other patients. We are talking about the sequencing of a biopsy of a specific individual's tumor. And we are talking about tracking individualized, personalized abnormalities."

The study is important, Rixe said, because doctors do not currently have robust biomarkers to correlate with therapeutic activity.

Equally important, the discovery of biomarkers may provide scientists with new therapeutic targets. By identifying a specific genetic abnormality or mutation, for example, they can work to develop a future therapy that attacks that mutation.

Rixe foresees a time when the tumor DNA of every patient with GBM is sequenced to provide for optimal treatment monitoring.

The UC Brain Tumor Center is well positioned to lea
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Contact: Cindy Starr
cstarr@mayfieldclinic.com
513-558-3505
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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