Deadly brain cancer genes identified

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June 1, 2016

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) represents 15.4% of all primary brain tumors and about 60-75% of all astrocytomas.  This tumor does not typically respond well to treatments, namely due to the difficulty getting drugs to the tumor site.  With the standard treatment of surgery and radiation, median survival for adults with GBM is about 15 months. 

In a recent study, a team of scientists from the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China, investigated the role of genetics and immunity on survival rates for GBM.  After analyzing 322 genes involved in the immune system, the scientists found eight specific genes that played a significant role in GBM.  Three of the eight genes were shown to have a protective role while the other five were connected with an increased risk of earlier death.  These findings may help improve the treatment of GBM by using genes to determine the best plan for treatment.

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