BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Scientists from the National Foundation for Cancer Research have discovered a new pharmacological agent that could lead to better treatment of glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM.
GBM, the deadliest form of brain cancer, is commonly treated with radiation and surgery. However, complete surgical removal based on the location in the brain make GBM more likely to recur and be deadly.
Cells that survive radiation become more aggressive and invasive, leading to treatment resistance.
Paul B. Fisher, Ph.D., director of the Virginia Commonwealth University's Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Web Cavenee, Ph.D., director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California at San Diego, collaborated with the NFCR on the study.
Researchers found that genetic suppression of the melanoma differentiation-associated gene 9, or MDA-9/Syntenin, sensitizes GBM to radiation to improve response to treatment in mice with brain tumors.
The new pharmacological agent -- with additional chemistry -- could lead to a new drug to prevent radiation-induced invasion of GBM cells.
"NFCR scientists are making headway in the fight against one of the most aggressive form of cancer, GBM, by working together on vital pre-clinical models," Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., NFCR CEO, said in a press release. "For years, discoveries from NFCR-funded research have led to better treatments today - and this latest discovery by two incredibly talented scientists gives us proof there will be improved therapies for GBM and multiple cancers in the foreseeable future."
The study was published in PNAS.