Tailored gene therapy 'could help brain cancer treatment'

10 January 2012

Personalised gene therapies could significantly increase the survival rate among brain cancer patients, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences have suggested that prognostic tools and gene-based therapies may improve the quality of life of those suffering from glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute, also showed that the genes associated with the glioblastoma can be used as biomarkers, which could help to improve treatment methods and therapies tailored to individual patients.

Nicola Serao of the university, a candidate in animal sciences with a focus on statistical genomics, said: "We were able to compare biomarkers across three glioblastoma phases that helped us gain insight into the roles of genes associated with cancer survival."

He added that during the study, the researchers were able to look at combinations of genes to see how they were affected by the cancer.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, a small number of brain tumours are caused by genetic conditions such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and type 2, tuberous sclerosis and syndromes such as Li-Fraumeni and Von Hippel-Lindau.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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