Hunting brain cancer cells

Understanding how cancer cells evolve from healthy brain cells and evade treatment could open up potential new drug therapies for glioblastomas, one of the most common and lethal brain cancers, new research has revealed.

By bringing together neuroscience and oncology, the team from Flinders University and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) is hopeful of finding a new method to treat the deadly disease.

“Glioblastomas can affect anyone and only 5% of patients survive more than 5 years following their diagnosis,” says study senior author Associate Professor Cedric Bardy from Flinders University and Group Leader of SAHMRI’s Laboratory for Human Neurophysiology and Genetics.

“A major therapeutic challenge is the variability and adaptability of these brain tumour cells. From patient to patient, glioblastoma tumours are composed of several types of cells in varying proportions. It’s these variations and their incredible capacity to quickly change their identity to hide and escape treatments that make them challenging to eradicate.”

“However, recent advances in genetics have shown that the cell types found within glioblastomas maintain some resemblance to the cells of origin, before they became cancerous, and use molecular pathways common with brain cells for growth and survival or when changing their identity.”

In a new study, published in Trends in Cancer, the team explore these similarities and differences in a bid to shed light on the potential pathways used by tumour cells to escape treatment.

Source: Read Full Article