AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Researchers Find New Biomarker for Brain Cancer Prognosis

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Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a new biomarker for glioma, a common type of brain cancer, that can help doctors determine how aggressive a cancer is and that could eventually help determine the best course of treatment. Researchers from the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center found that high expression of a gene called SHOX2 predicted poor survival in intermediate grade gliomas. “As an independent biomarker, SHOX2 expression is as potent as the currently best and widely used marker known as IDH mutations,” said Dr. Adi Gazdar, professor of pathology in the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology and a member of the Simmons Cancer Center. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancers of the brain and nervous system affect nearly 24,000 people annually. In 2013, there were an estimated 152,751 people living with brain and other nervous system cancer in the U.S. The overall 5-year survival rate is 33.8 percent. Knowing the probably survival status of an individual patient may help physicians choose the best treatment.

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