Combined Effect of Two Genes Lead to Aggressive Brain Cancers

The most aggressive form of brain cancer has been linked to two genes, according to a study lead by a team of Columbia scientists.

For the study, led by Antonio Iavarone, MD, associate professor of neurology in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Andrea Califano, PhD, director of the Columbia Initiative in Systems Biology, researchers focused their study on glioblastoma multiforme, a condition that is lethal because it rapidly invades the normal brain and produces inoperable brain tumors.

After assembling and experimentally validating a cellular network for a gliobastoma cell, the team was able to identify which genes were responsible for the most deadly features of the tumors. “We now know that two genes—C/EPB and Stat3—are the disease's master ‘control knobs'” said Dr Iavarone. “When simultaneously activated, they work together to turn on hundreds of other genes that transform brain cells into highly aggressive, migratory cells.”

Researchers reported that all patients in the study whose tumors showed activation of both factors died within 140 weeks after diagnosis, while one-half of the patients without these factors were still alive.

“This finding means that suppressing both genes simultaneously, using a combination of drugs, may be a powerful therapeutic approach for these patients, for whom no satisfactory treatment exists,” said Dr Califano.

The findings were published in Nature (2009 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]).
Loading links....
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs