Nav: Home

Case comprehensive cancer center analyzes brain tumor data, doubles known risk factors for glioma

March 29, 2017

A massive new study involving blood samples from over 30,000 individuals has identified 13 new genetic risk factors for glioma, the most common type of malignant brain tumor in adults. The study, published in Nature Genetics, reveals specific differences in a person's DNA that increase susceptibility to glioma tumors, and for the first time allows doctors to distinguish between a person's risk of developing tumor subtypes including glioblastoma and non-glioblastoma. Together malignant brain tumors cause an estimated 13,000 deaths in the United States annually.

"Because of the large sample size used in this study, for the first time we were able to assess if genetic risk was different for glioblastoma versus non-glioblastoma. Indeed their genetic risk profiles are different," said Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD, Sally S. Morley Designated Professor in Brain Tumor Research at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Barnholtz-Sloan served as local primary investigator in the study and helped lead the data management and data analysis alongside Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Doctoral Student, Quinn Ostrom, MA, MPH, and Biostatistician, Yanwen Chen, PhD, MS.

The enormous study credits 63 authors across more than 20 institutions, including collaborators in Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Israel. Said Barnholtz-Sloan, "Gliomas, while the most common type of malignant brain tumor in adults, are very rare, hence multi-site collaborations are necessary in order to have scientifically valid sample sizes."

In the new study, Barnholtz-Sloan and the researchers provide a meta-analysis of multiple published genome-wide association studies, or GWASs, increasingly popular research tools that search DNA sequence data for regions associated with disease risk. The studies are exceptionally powerful, and able to pinpoint specific DNA sequence molecules, say a G, C, T, or A, that are altered in people with a particular disease as compared to people without that disease. Previous GWASs had identified 13 specific locations in DNA that increase a person's risk for developing glioma. The new study doubled this number, identifying an additional 13 novel locations--five for glioblastoma, and eight for non-glioblastoma.

Said Barnholtz-Sloan, "A meta-analysis was needed because we wanted to analyze data from the most studies possible." In total, the team analyzed data from 12,496 people with gliomas (6,191 glioblastomas and 5,819 non-glioblastomas) and 18,190 people without gliomas.

The newly identified genetic risk factors could help distinguish patients most at risk for developing each kind of glioma. Each tumor subtype is associated with a different prognosis, with the most common, glioblastoma, associated with a median survival rate of only 12-14 months, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. With information from the new study, doctors are better equipped to diagnose high-risk patients early, which could ultimately improve prognosis.
-end-
Funding information for this study is available from Nature Genetics.

For more information about Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, please visit: http://case.edu/medicine.

Case Western Reserve University

Related Dna Articles:

Penn State DNA ladders: Inexpensive molecular rulers for DNA research
New license-free tools will allow researchers to estimate the size of DNA fragments for a fraction of the cost of currently available methods.
It is easier for a DNA knot...
How can long DNA filaments, which have convoluted and highly knotted structure, manage to pass through the tiny pores of biological systems?
How do metals interact with DNA?
Since a couple of decades, metal-containing drugs have been successfully used to fight against certain types of cancer.
Electrons use DNA like a wire for signaling DNA replication
A Caltech-led study has shown that the electrical wire-like behavior of DNA is involved in the molecule's replication.
Switched-on DNA
DNA, the stuff of life, may very well also pack quite the jolt for engineers trying to advance the development of tiny, low-cost electronic devices.
Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink'
Northwestern University biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce.
Finding our way around DNA
A Salk team developed a tool that maps functional areas of the genome to better understand disease.
A 'strand' of DNA as never before
In a carefully designed polymer, researchers at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences have imprinted a sequence of a single strand of DNA.
Doubling down on DNA
The African clawed frog X. laevis genome contains two full sets of chromosomes from two extinct ancestors.
'Poring over' DNA
Church's team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Harvard Medical School developed a new electronic DNA sequencing platform based on biologically engineered nanopores that could help overcome present limitations.

Related Dna Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Moving Forward
When the life you've built slips out of your grasp, you're often told it's best to move on. But is that true? Instead of forgetting the past, TED speakers describe how we can move forward with it. Guests include writers Nora McInerny and Suleika Jaouad, and human rights advocate Lindy Lou Isonhood.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...