Cancer

Genetic drivers of deadly brain cancer uncovered

an illustration of brain cancer
Researchers have identified combinations of gene mutations that cause glioblastoma.

Scientists have uncovered a variety of genetic mutations that, in combination, can fuel the development of glioblastoma, which is an aggressive, hard-to-treat brain cancer.

What is more, the researchers identified two genetic mutations that drive chemoresistance in glioblastoma tumors, a finding that could lead to more personalized treatment strategies for the deadly brain cancer.

Study co-author Sidi Chen, of the Systems Biology Institute at Yale University in New Haven, CT, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Also referred to as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), glioblastoma is a deadly, fast-growing brain cancer that develops from astrocytes, a type of star-shaped glial cell that normally provides neuronal support.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, glioblastomas account for around 52 percent of all primary brain tumors, and they are most common among adults aged between 45 and 70.

When it comes to treating glioblastomas, surgery is often the first port of call, though it is rare that the entire tumor can be safely removed. As such, surgery is usually followed by