In an article published April 10th in the journal Cell Reports, researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) describe a biomarker panel that could tell physicians which patients diagnosed with glioma, a type of brain cancer, will tend to progress to a more aggressive form of the disease in the event of relapse.
According to principal investigator Houtan Noushmehr, a professor at USP’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP), between 80% and 90% of patients diagnosed with brain cancer develop a second tumor after surgical removal of the original lesion.
In most cases the epigenetic profile of the tumor cells remains the same, meaning that gene expression is not altered. This suggests a favorable prognosis with good longevity. In 10% of patients with tumor relapse, however, the cancer cells acquire a more aggressive phenotype, reducing their overall survival.
“At the time of the primary diagnosis [discovery of the first tumor] our biomarker panel could show whether the patient is among these 10% who tend to progress to a more severe condition. This knowledge would help the physician decide whether more aggressive treatment is appropriate in order to prevent progression of the disease,” Noushmehr said.
With support by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation –
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