Revised glioblastoma classification should improve patient care

May 16, 2012, Ohio State University Medical Center

Radiation oncology researchers have revised the system used by doctors since the 1990s to determine the prognosis of people with glioblastoma, which is the most devastating of malignant brain tumors.

The outdated system was devised for glioblastoma and related that were treated by radiation therapy only, and it relied on clinical signs and symptoms. It divided patients into six prognostic groups. The new system accommodates advances in treatment – particularly the use of plus the chemotherapy drug temozolomide – and it incorporates molecular biomarkers as well as clinical variables.

"The new model is more relevant and contemporary and should do a better job of identifying patients that require the most aggressive therapy," says the study's chair for Translational Research Dr. Arnab Chakravarti, professor of and co-director of the brain tumor program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Comprehensive Cancer Center and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

Chakravarti will present the findings at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

To devise the new system, Chakravarti and his colleagues compared tumor and healthy tissue from 162 patients who were treated under the Radiation Oncology Group clinical trial 0525 (RTOG 0525). The investigators profiled protein, messenger RNA and epigenetic changes in patients' tumor cells looking for alterations in key signaling molecules.

They showed that high expression of the proteins called pAKT, c-met, and MGMT was associated with poor prognosis, while methylation of the MGMT gene, which codes for a DNA repair protein, was associated with a better prognosis.

"We hope to begin further studies to validate out classification system soon," Chakravarti says.

Explore further: Gene change identifies brain cancer patients that respond better to treatment

Related Stories

Gene change identifies brain cancer patients that respond better to treatment

May 31, 2011
New research proves that a change in a particular gene can identify which patients with a specific kind of brain cancer will respond better to treatment. Testing for the gene can distinguish patients with a more- or less-aggressive ...

Novel technique reveals both gene number and protein expression simultaneously

September 22, 2011
Researchers have discovered a method for simultaneously visualizing gene number and protein expression in individual cells. The fluorescence microscopy technique could permit a detailed analysis of the relationship between ...

Immunogene therapy combined with standard treatment is safe for patients with brain tumors

August 15, 2011
A clinical trial has shown that a form of gene therapy is safe for treating a deadly form of brain cancer, even when combined with radiation therapy.

Enhanced treatment of brain tumors

November 23, 2011
Glioblastoma is regarded as the most malignant form of brain tumor. In many cases, neurosurgeons are not able to remove such tumors completely because of the risk of destroying too much brain tissue in the process. Moreover, ...

Recommended for you

Workouts may boost life span after breast cancer

January 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—Longer survival after breast cancer may be as simple as staying fit, new research shows.

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

Cancer patients who tell their life story find more peace, less depression

January 22, 2018
Fifteen years ago, University of Wisconsin–Madison researcher Meg Wise began interviewing cancer patients nearing the end of life about how they were living with their diagnosis. She was surprised to find that many asked ...

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.