publication date: Feb. 28, 2017

Brain Tumors Genome Analysis Helps Keep GBM at Bay for Five Years

An analysis of a patient’s deadly brain tumor helped doctors at the Yale Smilow Cancer Hospital identify new emerging mutations and keep a 55-year old woman alive for more than five years, researchers report in the journal Genome Medicine.

The median survival rate for patients with glioblastoma multiform is only 15 months, but three separate genomic analyses of the tumor identified new mutations that allowed doctors to adjust treatment and keep the patient alive for over five years, through two recurrences of the cancer.

“We were able to identify the molecular profile at each recurrence,” said Murat Günel, chair and the Nixdorff-German Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, researcher with Yale Cancer Center, and senior author of the paper. “The molecular make-up of the cancer changed after each treatment and with time, but we were able to adjust treatments based on those profiles.”

For instance, the last genomic analysis revealed mutations of the cancer — under selective pressure from targeted therapies — had increased 30-fold, making the patient a good candidate for immunotherapy. Although there was an initial response, the cancer ultimately progressed.

The researchers were able to extend the findings on this case to more than 100 other GBM cases, leading to the observation that most GBMs change their … Continue reading CCL Feb 2017 – Genome Analysis Helps Keep GBM at Bay for Five Years

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