(RxWiki News) Two drugs are used to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the worst and most common form of brain cancer. Many tumors don't respond well to these medications, however, and scientists are beginning to understand why.
Glioblastomas that have high levels of a protein known as APNG tend to be resistant to the chemotherapy drugs used to treat the disease.
"Ask your neuro-surgeon about clinical trials for GBM."
Patients with GBM usually have three types of therapy - surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy with either Methazolastone or Temodar (temozolomide). These drugs, unfortunately don't work for many patients.
Researchers from the University of Toronto conducted a study to learn what causes this resistance. The team, led by Sameer Agnihortri, a Ph.D. candidate in the University's Neuroscience Program, found that the protein APNG contributes to the resistance to temozolomide.
Furthermore, the team found that patients who had an abundance of this protein in their tumors usually had a poorer survival rate than patients who didn't have APNG expression.
These findings suggest that tracking APNG levels may help determine how likely a GBM patient will respond to temozolomide, according to Agnihortri and colleagues.
Further study is needed to confirm this possible relationship.
Results from this study were published December 12, 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation