AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Researchers Discover Potential New Target for Treating Glioblastoma

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Scientists have found a way to inhibit the growth of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with low survival rates, by targeting a protein that drives growth of brain tumors, according to research from the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. “These findings change our fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of glioblastoma and how to treat it,” said co-senior author Dr. Robert Bachoo, associate professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Internal Medicine and with the Annette G. Strauss Center for Neuro-Oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “We may have identified a set of critical genes we can target with drugs that are shared across nearly all glioblastomas.” The study represents research from UT Southwestern’s precision medicine campaign in neuro-oncology. For the past decade, patients diagnosed with glioblastoma have been treated with the current standard of care regimen: surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. This regimen improves median survival by an average of four to six months, followed by recurrence of the tumor. There are currently no successful therapies available to treat glioblastoma patients when the tumor recurs. Five-year survival rates are around 5 percent.

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