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CHAPEL HILL – Researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered how different mutations in a specific gene help drive glioblastoma, the most lethal form of brain cancer.

In the preclinical study, researchers investigated whether the location of where the mutation occurred within the sequence of the PIK3CA gene affected the mutation’s ability to help drive cancerous growth. They also tested whether mutations within certain sequences of the gene were linked to better responses to particular drugs. They found mutational status was not linked to a response to a single targeted drug, but it was to a combination of treatments.

UNC Lineberger’s C. Ryan Miller, MD, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Neurology, and Pharmacology, said the findings, published in the journal PLOS One, call for a more refined approach to precision medicine for glioblastoma, requiring more information about mutations that occur in a particular tumor.

“One approach to personalized medicine has been to sequence the tumor to find any type of mutation in genes for which there are drugs that target them, and then treat all patients the same,” Miller said. “We think it’s

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