Nav: Home

UH Cancer Center researcher finds new driver of an aggressive form of brain cancer

November 14, 2016

University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have identified an essential driver of tumor cell invasion in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer that can occur at any age. The discovery can help researchers create novel targeted therapies potentially reducing deaths from this devastating cancer.

"New treatment options for brain cancer patients are desperately needed," said Joe W. Ramos, UH Cancer Center deputy director and lead researcher on the study. "Treatment options include chemotherapy in combination with radiation, but they only prolong a patient's life by a few months."

Glioblastoma remains a lethal cancer with only a 14-month average survival rate after initial diagnosis.

The study published in Oncotarget reveals that a protein called RSK2 is increased in many patients with glioblastoma. The protein pushes glioblastoma cells into surrounding healthy brain tissue. The invasion of these cells throughout the brain makes it difficult to remove the tumor by surgery, which contributes to high recurrence and poor survival rates in patients. The invading glioblastoma cells are less sensitive to current standard therapies. The research team found that inhibiting RSK2 stops invasion of the tumor cells and enhances the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy in tumor cells obtained from patients.

"This study paves the way for development of new brain cancer therapies focused on RSK2 inhibitors for brain invasion," said co-author Santosh Kesari, chair of Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center.

"The next steps include identifying better compounds to target the RSK2 protein.

We are hoping to discover a powerful new drug to treat this aggressive brain cancer," said Ramos.

The findings resulted from several years of collaboration among the labs of Ramos and Michelle Matter at the UH Cancer Center, Kesari at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, and Dirk Geerts of Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

"The new discovery can potentially lead to a new class of drugs to treat not only brain cancers, but other invasive cancers as well. With about 60 new cases of brain cancer diagnosed every year in Hawai'i, and about 40 deaths, an effective treatment can help many patients in our state," said Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.
DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.13084

The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center through its various activities, cancer trial patients and their guests, and other visitors adds more than $54 million to the O'ahu economy. This is equivalent to supporting 776 jobs. It is one of only 69 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the Center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

University of Hawaii Cancer Center

Related Glioblastoma Articles:

Brain cancer discovery reveals clues in quest for new therapies
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have pinpointed two key molecules that drive the growth of an aggressive type of adult brain cancer.
Immunotherapy for glioblastoma well tolerated; survival gains observed
A phase one study of 11 patients with glioblastoma who received injections of an investigational vaccine therapy and an approved chemotherapy showed the combination to be well tolerated while also resulting in unexpectedly significant survival increases, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute report.
Glioblastoma patients may benefit from a vaccine-chemotherapy combination
A vaccine targeting cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigen pp65, combined with high-dose chemotherapy (temozolomide), improved both progression-free survival and overall survival for a small group of glioblastoma (GBM) patients.
Case comprehensive cancer center analyzes brain tumor data, doubles known risk factors for glioma
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.
Glioblastoma clinical trial shows combined therapy extends life for patients 65 and older
Treating older patients who have malignant brain cancer with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy extends survival by two months compared to treating with radiation alone, show clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Revolutionary approach for treating glioblastoma works with human cells
UNC-Chapel Hill researchers describe how human stem cells, made from human skin cells, can hunt down and kill human brain cancer, a critical and monumental step toward clinical trials -- and real treatment.
Researchers discover potential new target for treating glioblastoma
Scientists have found a way to inhibit the growth of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with low survival rates, by targeting a protein that drives growth of brain tumors, according to research from the Peter O'Donnell Jr.
Cell of origin affects malignancy and drug sensitivity of brain tumors
Patients with glioblastoma have very poor prognosis since there are no effective therapies.
A new prognostic classification may help clinical decision-making in glioblastoma
New research shows that taking molecular variables into account will improve the prognostic classification of the lethal brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM).
Inhibiting a DNA-repairing protein in brain could be key to treating aggressive tumors
Researchers at the University of Leeds found that inhibiting this protein, called RAD51, helped increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy in killing off glioblastoma cells in the lab.

Related Glioblastoma Reading:

Glioblastoma - A guide for patients and loved ones: Your guide to glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumours
by Gideon Burrows (Author)

Glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma are two of the most common form of brain tumours in adults.

Too often they can be life changing, even life limiting for patients, wreaking devastation on their families.

This readable, moving and non technical guide is your comprehensive patient focussed guide to these obstinate brain cancers.

It covers everything from getting an accurate diagnosis, to dealing with the physical, mental and emotional impact of the disease. From treatment options and how to cope with their side effects, to newly developing techniques and future... View Details

A Statistic of One: My Walk With Glioblastoma Multiforme
by Stephen Hatrak (Author)

A Statistic of One: My Walk with Glioblastoma Multiforme traces Stephen Hatrak's life from his diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest of malignant brain tumors, to the present. He chronicles the trials and tribulations he faced and the losses he suffered along his journey. Faith and inner strength are formidable allies in overcoming any tragedy in one's life, and they played vital roles in his struggle. He was told from the start that the he might have twelve months to live; even so, he defi ed the odds and, six years later, is telling his own story. Despite the dire statistics... View Details

Embracing Life From Death: A Caregivers Journey Through Glioblastoma, Grief and Healing
by Anitra Marie Simmons (Author)

Why me?

Why did this this have to happen to me? What could have I possibly done to the universe to have deserved this?

For anyone that has ever asked these questions, Embracing Life From Death might just be the perfect book for you. 

Written with a jarring intensity and raw with emotion, this book will shock you and grip you from the very first page. 

Anitra shares her story in full without holding back. Her displays of courage and commitment through trials will lift your spirits yet her grief and pain will be felt as keenly as if you were in the... View Details

Glioblastoma, 1e
by Steven Brem MD (Author), Kalil G. Abdullah MD (Author)

Clinically focused and designed to provide a to-the-point overview, Glioblastoma, by Drs. Steven Brem and Kalil G. Abdullah, brings you up to date with increased understanding, new treatment protocols, and recent advances in the field. Written by contributing specialists who are global experts in their respective areas, this one-stop reference provides neurosurgeons, medical-and-radiation oncologists, neuro-oncologists, neuropathologists, internal medicine physicians, and researchers with a dependable source of information on current treatment options, tumor... View Details

Surviving "Terminal" Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won't Tell You About
by Ben A. Williams Ph.D. (Author)

An account of dealing with glioblastoma brain cancer, along with the information needed to survive it View Details

Glioblastoma: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)
by Dimitris G. Placantonakis (Editor)

This volume details cutting-edge protocols on the characterization of the genome, epigenome, proteome, metabolome and single-cell transcriptome of tumors and tumor-derived cultures. Chapters focus on subpopulations of cells with stem-like properties, laser capture microdissection, and modeling human glioma with human embryonic stem cells. Written in the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips... View Details

Quality of life among caregivers of patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme: Psychoeducational Program
by Tatiana Bukstein Vainboim (Author), Suely Kazue Nagahashi Marie (Author), Maria Helena Pereira Franco (Author)

Glioblastoma Multiform (GBM), a malignant tumor of the central nervous system, is the most aggressive and malignant among astrocytomas. Median survival time with standard treatment is 10-12 months. Patient and family are involved as the unit of care in the treatment. Family needs of support and information are not usually considerate regarding physical and emotional stress. Therefore, effective psychological support to family members is critical. This book presents a study on the quality of life (QOL) of non-professional caregivers of GBM patients, by means of a psychoeducational program for... View Details

5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours
by Lisa Reisman (Author)

When a disillusioned New York attorney decides to leave the law, buy a lipstick-red convertible, and hit the road, she doesn't expect to wake up in a hospital room with a malignant brain tumor and a prognosis of one year to live. Or that ten years later, she'll be competing in a grueling triathlon. View Details

Crossing the Caring Bridge - A Journey of Hope and Despair
by Shelly Flammia Greer (Author)

Shelly Flammia Greer thought the summer of 2010 would be the glorious beginning to the rest of her life with Phil, her husband of nearly forty years. But after settling into early retirement, she began noticing changes in his behavior. Soon other family members and friends took notice as well. When Shelly realized she was not alone in her observations, she knew Phil needed to see a doctor—a visit that revealed he was terminally ill with a glioblastoma multiforme.

What Shelly soon learned was that the diagnosis would bring more questions than answers. All tumors are different. And... View Details

Glioblastoma short guide for the common people

Glioblastoma short guide for the common people View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Peering Deeper Into Space
The past few years have ushered in an explosion of new discoveries about our universe. This hour, TED speakers explore the implications of these advances — and the lingering mysteries of the cosmos. Guests include theoretical physicist Allan Adams, planetary scientist Sara Seager, and astrophysicists Natasha Hurley-Walker and Jedidah Isler.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#461 Adhesives
This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.