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Researchers at the Hebrew University have discovered new markers for diagnosing the severity of brain cancer and a new way to treat the disease

An application company working on turning the discovery into a diagnostic kit, states that the discovery was published in the scientific journal Cancer Research

NMR scan of the brain of a 15-year-old boy suffering from glioblastoma brain cancer. From Wikipedia
NMR scan of the brain of a 15-year-old boy suffering from glioblastoma brain cancer. From Wikipedia

Application, the Research Development Society of the Hebrew University, announces that a research team led by Dr. Rotem Karni and post-doctoral student Dr. Regina Golan-Gerstel from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Israel-Canada Medical Research Institute, School of Medicine of the Hebrew University, discovered New markers that make it possible to diagnose the degree of severity of glioblastoma brain cancer, the most common and deadliest type of brain tumors, as well as a new way to treat the disease. The findings were recently published in the July issue of the scientific journal Cancer Research. The invention was registered as a patent by an application company, which is now in the advanced stages of searching for a company to continue developing the technology.

The markers that Dr. Carney discovered are more accurate than other markers that exist today, and they allow researchers to successfully predict the survival chances of patients suffering from glioblastoma brain tumors. The researchers discovered that the level of a cellular protein known as hnRNP A2/B1 increases in brain cancer tumors and the higher this level, the lower the patients' chances of survival. The protein is involved in a process known as RNA splicing, which is a process of processing the RNA necessary for the proper expression of genes.

In addition, the research team found that the hnRNP A2/B1 protein itself is able to cause the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells, while its inhibition prevents the development of tumors in mice. The published study also describes the molecular mechanism through which the cancer splicing protein works. Following these findings, Dr. Carney's research team is trying to develop a new treatment for brain cancer tumors based on inhibiting the production of the hnRNP A2/B1 protein using Antisense RNA technology.

Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Ipsos, said, "The marker discovered by Dr. Carney can help determine the subtype and severity of glioblastoma brain cancer. Such a determination is extremely important for planning the continuation of the treatment of the disease. Furthermore, Dr. Carney's research outlines an innovative way to treat this cancer, which is the most common primary brain cancer and which so far does not have an adequate medical response."

Glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest primary brain cancer (meaning it does not result from metastases), with an incidence of about 3 cases per 100,000 people. The disease is more common in adults, but can appear at any age. Symptoms can include epileptic-like seizures, headaches, nausea, unilateral paralysis, memory problems, and other personality or neurological changes. When possible, the initial treatment is surgery to remove most of the tumor, after which most patients are treated with radiation and chemotherapy. Without treatment, life expectancy is just a few months, and it can be extended to 1-2 years with the help of existing treatments.


One response

  1. The question then arises: a person who is already suffering from symptoms, may a brain CT not reveal a tumor even though the symptoms do arise from a tumor that is still small? Because only then, in fact, a test based on the detection of these proteins may be useful as a test preceding the CT (will be used to identify the presence of the tumor while the CT that will follow it will be used as usual to locate the location of the tumor)

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