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Brain Tumor

Using human cancer cells, tumor and blood samples from cancer patients, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have uncovered the role of a neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers. Neurotransmitters are chemical "messengers" that transmit impulses from neurons to other target cells.

To explain a person's actions in the present, it sometimes helps to understand their past, including where they come from and how they were raised. This is also true of tumors. Delving into a tumor's cellular lineage, a Ludwig Cancer Research study shows, can reveal weaknesses to target for customized therapies.

The findings, detailed in the April 24 issue of the journal Nature, also illustrate how knowledge of the biochemistry and microenvironment of the tissue from which a tumor arises can help predict the genetic alterations its cancer cells are likely to undergo.

In a "proof of concept" study, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully delivered nano-size packets of genetic code called microRNAs to treat human brain tumors implanted in mice. The contents of the super-small containers were designed to target cancer stem cells, a kind of cellular "seed" that produces countless progeny and is a relentless barrier to ridding the brain of malignant cells.

Results of their experiments were published online June 21 in Nano Letters.

Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test.

Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test.

Glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer, typically fails to respond to treatment or rapidly becomes drug resistant. In a paper published online in the journal Cancer Cell on November 30, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers identified a strategy that pinpoints a genetically distinct subpopulation of patients with glioblastoma that is particularly sensitive to drugs like cilengitide that target a cell adhesion receptor known as integrin αvβ3.

Cancer therapies including radiation and chemotherapy seek to treat the disease by killing tumor cells. Now a team including researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have shown that the dead and dying cancer cells generated by chemotherapy and targeted cancer therapy paradoxically trigger inflammation that promotes aggressive tumor growth. In a study published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the team has illuminated the mechanism by which tumor cell death can drive primary tumor growth and metastasis.

Tags: Warning Signs, Brain Tumor27/09/2017

Brain tumors come in all shapes and sizes—and so do their symptoms.

"The key to a tumor's symptoms really depends on its location," says Theodore Schwartz, MD, a neurosurgeon with the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center. 

For example, if you have a tumor near the part of your brain that controls your arm or your eyesight, your symptoms may include limb weakness or blurry vision, Schwartz says. 

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