AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Clinical Study Suggests the Origin of Glioblastoma Subtypes

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Implications for personalized medicine and molecularly targeted therapies

“It is now well-documented that cancers that look the same under the microscope actually contain different genetic changes, or mutations, and respond differently to therapy,” said Clark Chen, MD, PhD, senior author and vice-chair of research and academic development in the Division of Neurosurgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “What remains unclear is how the exact, same mutation can give rise to different subtypes of tumor.” This is what inspired this study. Researchers used clinical images from 217 brain tumor patients to begin to classify which types of tumors form at which locations in the brain. “Our study suggests that if a cancer-causing mutation occurs in the neural stem cell population in the SVZ, it gives rise to the proneural or the neural glioblastoma subtype. On the other hand, if the same mutation occurs in a different cell population located farther away from the SVZ, it will give rise to other subtypes,” said Chen. To read more on this study, click here

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