Glioblastoma – also referred to as glioblastoma multiforme – is a type of malignant brain tumor that forms from star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston have identified the mechanism by which a specific protein called PRMT5 drives the growth of glioblastoma tumors. The researchers confirmed their findings in human glioblastoma cells. When they inhibited PRMT5 – which prevents the production of the PRMT5 protein – in tumor cells, they found that cell growth and division was halted. The researchers also found a marker that can identify which patients are more likely to benefit from the treatment.