Authors: Alice Weatherston
A group of immune genes have been identified that may be key in controlling cancerous spread and survival times of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a new Neurology study has revealed. The study could have implications for survival of patients with this form of brain tumor and who currently only live for on average less than 2 years following treatment.
“We’ve had luck with other types of cancer in removing the brakes on the immune system to allow it to fight the tumors, but this has not been the case with glioblastoma,” explained study author Anhua Wu (First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China).
The study investigated tissue samples from 297 individuals with a range of different brain tumor forms; 127 had glioblastoma and 170 had glioma. Genome sequencing was also utilized to analyze the 322 immune-related genes.
Results indicated that of the 322 genes reviewed, there were eight key genes that were influential in glioblastoma. Three of these genes were protective against glioblastoma and five resulted in an increased risk of early death within the patients.