Screening glioblastoma brain tumors for two gene variations can reliably predict which tumors will respond to a specific class of drugs, a new study shows. The findings may lead to improved treatment for this devastating disease. The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and appears in the November 10, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.*
Glioblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumors in adults, and they are notoriously difficult to treat successfully. "The survival with glioblastoma is usually a year on average, and that hasnt improved in a while, so this is a very serious and challenging disease," says Paul Mischel, M.D., of the David Geffen School of Medicine and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who led the study. While drugs are available to help treat glioblastoma, they often have minimal effect, and doctors usually have time to try only one or two treatments before the disease causes severe impairment. Glioblastomas feature many genetic variations that affect their response to different treatments. Researchers are trying to identify these genetic factors and to tease apart how they affect the disease in order to determine which patients are the most likely to benefit from specific drugs.
In the new study, Dr. Mischel and his colleagues performed genetic analysis on tissue from recurrent malignant glioblastoma patients, 26 of whom responded either very well or very poorly to the drugs erlotinib (Tarceva®) and gefitinib (Iressa®). These two drugs belong to a class called EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) kinase inhibitors, and both are currently approved by the by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat advanced lung cancer that has not responded to other treatments.
Natalie Frazin | EurekAlert!
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Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
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