AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018


How do Glioblastoma Cells Survive and Invade?

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has identified a protein called SGEF that promotes the survival of glioblastoma (GBM) tumor cells and helps the cancer invade brain tissue. Researchers identified SGEF as a target for new brain cancer therapies in a study published today in the journal Molecular Cancer Research. Results of the study found that SGEF also plays a role in how glioblastoma tumors develop resistance to treatment. “We need to identify the genetic and cellular-pathway signaling mechanisms that make brain tumors resistant to treatment,” said the study’s lead author. “And the role of SGEF in promoting chemotherapeutic resistance highlights this previously unappreciated protein. Importantly, this also suggests that SGEF could be a new candidate for development of targeted therapeutics.” According to the researchers, the roles of invasion and survival are interconnected in the promotion of disease progression and SGEF presents a novel hub in the interrelated axes of tumor cell invasion and survival. The ability of cancer cells to survive is influenced by the proteins that regulate cellular pathways involved in promoting how cells grow, replicate and spread, as well as whether cells will die when exposed to anti-cancer drugs. Radiation and drug treatment of GBM can lead to DNA damage. This study shows that SGEF promotes cancer cell survival in response to TMZ treatment by allowing tumor cells to rapidly repair the damaged DNA that otherwise would lead to cell death. To read more about this study, click here.

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