Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers identify target for therapeutic drugs to fight most common adult brain cancer


A research team at UT Southwestern Medical Center has discovered a cell-signaling mechanism instrumental in the most common brain cancer in adults.

The study, published in today’s issue of the journal Cancer Research, opens an avenue to develop therapeutic drugs to target the epidermal growth factor receptor genes that play a major role in the development of deadly brain tumors, researchers said.

The median survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a cancer of the supportive tissue of the brain, currently is about one year after diagnosis with the best treatments available, said Dr. Amyn Habib, assistant professor of neurology at UT Southwestern and the study’s senior author. GBM, which accounts for 60 percent of brain tumors in adults older than 50 years, can infiltrate the brain extensively and sometimes becomes enormous before turning symptomatic.

Researchers have known for years that tumor cells proliferate out of control by a mechanism characterized by an abnormally high number of copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR). This overexpression of EGFR, Dr. Habib said, is a striking feature of glioblastoma multiforme, present in 40 percent to 50 percent of tumors and results in an uncontrolled multiplication of both normal EGFR and a mutant form called EGFRvIII.

While studying human brain tumor tissue and human brain tumor cells from cell lines grown in the laboratory, Dr. Habib and his colleagues discovered that EGFRvIII generates a unique pattern of signaling (distinct from normal EGFR) that causes brain cancer cells in GBM to grow and multiply unchecked.

"The better we understand the signaling mechanisms of the normal and the mutant EGFR, the better we can manipulate or control them," Dr. Habib said. "Our findings suggest that you have to target both the mutant and the normal EGFR based on the mechanism we described."

Current standard treatment of GBM consists of surgical removal of the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Dr. Habib said he hoped the findings gained from the new study could eventually lead to therapeutic drugs that destroy brain cancer cells and spare healthy cells.

Other UT Southwestern researchers on the study were Dr. Deepti Ramnarain, postdoctoral researcher in neurology and lead author; Dr. Seongmi Park, postdoctoral researcher in neurology; Dr. Kimmo Hatanpaa; assistant professor of pathology; Dr. Jack Raisanen, associate professor of pathology; Dr. Raheela Ashfaq, professor of pathology; and Shane Scoggin, research assistant in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School also participated.

Toni Heinzl | EurekAlert!
Further information:,2356,61448,00.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>