Targeting Aggressive Brain Tumors

Glioblastoma multiforme therapies could target tumor cell growth

November 20, 2011 / Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

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(dailyRx News) One of the most aggressive kinds of brain cancer is also one of the most common. Researchers may have found a way to battle Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

A research team has identified a key component in the biology that drives many aggressive glioblastomas. This discovery may lead to new therapies for a disease that currently offers few treatment options.

"Ask your neurologist about clinical trials for glioblastoma treatment."

Drugs could be developed to treat cancers that have too much of a protein known as PDGFR-alpha, which is overexpressed in a large proportion of GBMs. Patients who have too much of this protein usually have lower survival rates.

The study was designed and led by Bo Hu and Shi-Yuan Cheng of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. They found that PDGFR-alpha activity in gliblastoma cells triggered "a signaling cascade" that resulted in tumor cell growth and invasion.

By targeting one of these mechanisms, PDGFR-alpha was essentially shut down so that it could not promote tumor growth, invasion or survival.

This research was published in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Date: 
November 17, 2011
Last Updated:
November 20, 2011