Cancer Researchers Confirm Brain Tumor Genetic Subtype Informs Treatment

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Cancer Research

Research confirms that determining the genetic composition of brain cancers can better inform doctors and patients for treatment options and prognosis. The findings could change the future of how cancers are diagnosed.

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A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology confirmed that a specific chromosomal change in oligodendroglial brain tumours, first discovered by U of C researcher Dr. Gregory Cairncross, is associated with a very good prognosis and may also identify patients who would benefit from chemotherapy treatment in addition to radiotherapy at diagnosis for longer tumour control.

"The old school of thought was that a cancer is a cancer is a cancer, but that simply doesn't hold true with what we know today. Looking at a cancer under the microscope is not enough anymore," says Cairncross, principal investigator for the clinical trial and head of clinical neurosciences at the U of C's Faculty of Medicine and Calgary Health Region. "By testing for the genetic makeup of brain cancers, we can better define what 'cancer' we're dealing with, which helps us make better and wiser treatment recommendations for our patients."

This insight offers hope to refine the way brain cancers

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