A family of genes thought to be behind the growth of a wide range of difficult-to-treat tumours has been identified by scientists.
Joshua Breunig, the lead author of the study and a research scientist in the Brain Programme at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute in the US said that these new genetic findings have opened a way for us to work towards developing targeted therapeutics, which hopefully could be used in the future to treat patients with high grade brain tumours.”
Known as gliomas high-grade brain tumours are difficult to treat and patients rarely survive more than five years. Invariably, lethal secondary gliomas develop among patients treated for primary gliomas and that is nearly always fatal.
Moise Danielpour, director, Pediatric Neurosurgery Programme and the Center for Pediatric Neurosciences in the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center said that “any tumour can breed a range of several combinations of mutations.” And despite major progress achieved in radiation and chemotherapy, a cure remains elusive.
Using cutting edge methods that can model up to five distinct tumour types within 45 minutes, researchers identified that the Ets family of genes were contributors to glioma brain tumours. These factors regulate the behaviour of tumour cells by controlling the expression of genes that are required for the growth of tumour and cell fate. Stopping the expression of Ets genes would help researchers identify and strategize novel treatment therapies.