In a major breakthrough, a group of scientists from the Columbia University has succeeded in identifying two genes that are considered to be liable for one of the most hostile types of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. According to the researches from the Columbia University, these two genes compel glioblastoma multiforme to plague the normal brain quickly enough to develop tumors that are not only incurable, but, at times, also life threatening or fatal.
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The findings of the research by the scientists from Columbia University were recently published in the journal Nature. The report noted that the genes detected by the scientists are known as C/EPB and Stat-3, have been found to be vigorous in as many as 60 per cent of patients enduring glioblastoma multiforme. It may be noted here that U. S. Sen. was one of the recent victims of the deadly disease. Earlier, Sen. Edward Kennedy succumbed to glioblastoma multiforme 16 months after being diagnosed of the syndrome.
Interestingly enough, the study noted that the two genes - C/EPB and Stat-3, stimulated brain tumors only when they were activated. During the course of the research, the scientists observed that when these two genes were triggered, they forced several hundred other genes to convert the normal brain cells into extremely hostile and wandering cancer cells. In fact, the study further discovered that in brain cancer patients with tumors possessing there two genes in active form, usually succumbed to the disease within a period of 140 weeks from the day of being diagnosed with developing glioblastoma multiforme. On the contrary, the researches have further found that half of the brain cancer patients whose tumors did not have active C/EPB and Stat-3 genes normally survived more that 140 weeks after being diagnosed with the deadly ailment.
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During the course of their study, the researchers also examined the impact of injecting human glioblastoma tumor cells into the brains of rodents. It was observed that when the researchers totally inactivated these two genes - C/EPB and Stat-3, in the human glioblastoma cells, they lost their ability to develop tumors in the mice brain cells.
Describing these two genes (C/EPB and Stat-3) as 'ruling officers', Dr. Antonio Iavarone, lead researcher as well as an associate professor of neurology in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, elucidated that it was found that when these two genes were deactivated, the tumor cells no longer possessed the ability to develop tumors in the brains of the rodents. Dr. Antonio Iavarone further said that even in some cases when they were able to form tumors in the mice brain cells, it was found that these tumors were not as malignant compared to the original cancerous growths that were taken from the patients enduring glioblastoma multiforme. He explained that this was primarily owing to the fact that when these two genes were turned off, the tumors were not able to produce new blood vessels that are necessary to feed them.
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In order to undertake the study, the scientists from the Columbia University had it initially work out the complete and extremely complicated system of molecular interaction impelling the activities of glioblastoma cells. Talking about their detailed preparations, Dr. Andrea Califano, co-author of the study and director of the Columbia Initiative in Systems Biology, said that they had produced a reasonably complicated plan of all the molecular activities taking place inside the glioblastoma cell. And when they were familiar with the logical functioning of the cancer cell, they were in a position to ask themselves questions, such as 'if this is the consequence of the tumor and this is what they detect, in that case, who is controlling the end point?'
Actually when the scientists first identified the two genes liable for driving hostile brain cancer, as never before were the genes C/EPB and Stat-3 associated with cancer of the brain. Expressing her views on this aspect, Dr. Andrea Califano said that the two newly identified genes were really amazing as they virtually emerged all of a sudden. Moreover, these two genes never work independently and even if they functioned in isolation, they were not capable of developing cancerous tumors in the normal brain cells.
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Now that the scientists have been successful in identifying the two genes responsible for forcing hostile brain cancer, described as the 'ruling officers', they will no more concentrate their efforts on producing new medications to combat 'minor actor' genes that stimulate development of brain cancer. Dr. Antonio Iavarone has expressed hope that henceforth they will be able to develop intended treatments to combat the deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme by dealing with these two newly identified genes - C/EPB and Stat-3. Meanwhile, Dr. Andrea Califano pointed out that that future treatment for this type of brain cancer will have to concentrate on blacking out both the genes at the same time or concurrently.
And, the latest good news is that the team of scientists headed by Dr. Antonio Iavarone has obtained fresh funds to undertake another study on new remedial amalgams/ chemicals that would possibly be able to effectively combat both genes - C/EPB and Stat-3 simultaneously.