AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Persistence Pays Off in Discovery That Could Lead to Improved Treatment and Survivability of Patients with Brain Tumors

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It’s a discovery more than seven years in the making that researchers believe will vastly illuminate our understanding of deadly brain tumors.

Gliomas are the most common type of central nervous system cancer but how these tumors develop is not fully understood. Sheri Holmen, PhD a researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute  (HCI) and professor of surgery at the University of Utah just published the results of her research on gliomasThe work is focused on a mutated gene that is a critical piece of the puzzle for glioma development, according to Holmen’s work.

A mutant form of the Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene was previously shown to be expressed in at least 80 percent of lower grade gliomas and several other cancers. But whether, and how, mutant IDH1 contributes to tumorigenesis remained virtually unknown. Holmen’s studies provide substantial evidence demonstrating that mutant IDH1 functionally drives glioma development.

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