New Brain Cancer Therapies on the Horizon

MicroRNA's role on glioblastoma multiforme becoming clearer

(RxWiki News) Scientists are focusing in on the genetic beginnings, course and survival of a deadly form of brain cancer. And these discoveries offer new hope for patients.

Recent research from the University of Illinois (U of I) could lead to the development of new therapies to treat a deadly brain cancer - glioblastoma multiforme.  Their work has involved the study of thousands of molecules called microRNAs that regulate genes that initiate and suppress tumor growth.

"Ask your oncologist about new brain cancer treatments."

Researchers looked at the whole picture of the genetic underpinnings and behavior relating to brain cancer progression and survival.

They studied and evaluated 534 microRNAs together as a group, not just one at a time, as is typical. The study found:

  • 25 microRNAs that have already been linked to glioblastoma survival
  • 20 other microRNAs that are seen in the development or growth of other cancers, including breast, ovarian and stomach

So what does all this mean? Simply that targeted therapies that already exist could be used for brain cancer, according to Sandra Rodriguez Zas, co-researcher and U of I professor of animal science and bioinformatics.

These findings could also lead to the development of additional therapies that specifically target glioblastoma.

This study was published in Cancer Genomics & Proteomics.

Review Date: 
August 23, 2011