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Genes Predict the Survival Rate of Patients with Severe Brain Cancer

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Glioblastoma multiforme is a severe type of brain cancer for which current cancer treatments fail to work. Because the brain tumor is so deep within the brain matter, it is difficult to get chemotherapy drugs to the tumor without harming healthy brain tissue.

Researchers at the First Hospital of China Medical University recently looked into the role our genes play in immunity to and survival of glioblastoma, or grade 4 astrocytoma. The team examined tissue samples from 297 patients with brain tumors and identified 127 as glioblastoma multiforme.

The researchers mapped the genomes of these patients and analyzed the 322 genes that affect the immune system. Of those genes, the team found eight that play a significant role in survival rates after a brain cancer diagnosis.

Three of the genes were beneficial and helped increase the body’s resistance to the cancerous cells, while the other five genes increased the risk of an earlier death from the tumor. The researchers were able to use these gene combinations to create a genetic signature that predicted if a patient is at a low- or high-risk of rapid progression and death.

Patients in the high-risk group were twice as likely to survive for a shorter period as those with the low-risk genes. The high-risk genetic signature also predicted a shorter time between tumor diagnosis and confirmation of disease progression. Researchers are now looking at this new genetic information to help develop better treatments for this type of severe brain cancer.

Incurable Brain Cancer May Qualify You for Social Security Disability Benefits

Brain cancers are difficult to treat and can cause problems with memory, language, and motor skills, and make working impossible. If you can no longer work and earn a living, contact the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates.