Monday, December 28, 2009

Controlling Genes to Fight Brain Cancer

I've come across so many people in recent years who have had inoperable brain tumors that were fatal. The individuals I've known, or have become aware of through others, were relatively young and had limited life expectancy following their diagnosis. For this reason, whenever I read articles like this one on BBC, I'm fairly excited.

According to the article, scientists at Columbia have pinpointed genes that seem to be implicated in making at least one form of brain cancer so virulent and lethal. In fact, sixty percent of glioblastoma multiforme patients show these genes as active. For those who had the active genes, and were part of the study, life expectancy was one hundred and forty weeks after being diagnosed.

According to lead researcher, Dr Antonio Iavarone, these two genes are master switches that, when activated at the same time, cause hundreds of other genes to contribute to cancerous growth. He states that suppressing both genes with a combination of drugs may yield a powerful treatment approach. From the article: "When the researchers silenced both genes in human glioblastoma cells, it completely blocked their ability to form tumours when injected in a mouse."

Scientists have discovered two genes that appear responsible for one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer

Other Recent Cancer News

Scientists have learned that certain proteins have a pivotal function in fixing damage to DNA that can lead to cancer

From the article: ""Discovering that these limpet-like proteins play such an important role in repair may provide new opportunities to stop cancer from growing.""

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