The question this article poses is can the cell of origin have an impact on the behavior and treatment of the brain tumor?
Studies done on the medulloblastoma, the most common tumor in children, by Robert Wechsler-Reya, Ph.D., and his team at the Tumor Development Program in Sanford-Burnham’s NCI-designated Cancer Center unleash an important discovery.
Dr. Wechsler-Reya had the theory that these two different types of cells each respond differently to the different kinds of treatment. Wechsler-Reya and his team proved they were correct by showcasing a particular growth factor called bFGF.
bFGF stands for basic fibroblast growth factor.
bFGF induces stem cell growth. However, it also inhibits neuronal progenitor cell growth. bFGF blocks the growth of tumors originating from progenitors.
This growth factor cannot be used as a drug, as it would cause a plethora of off-target effects. However, since its discovery, other molecules similar to it have been discovered. These molecules could also be used to treat medulloblastomas.
Once again, the tumor has to have a particular origin in order for the molecules and treatments following them to work.
Dr. Wechsler-Reya said that his goal was to figure out how tumors, medulloblastomas in particular, differ from one another. The origin of brain tumors could lead to better treatments for the patients.
“ ‘It's critical for us to figure out how tumors differ from one another, so we can find ways to personalize cancer diagnosis and come up with treatments that are more effective and less harmful,’ Wechsler-Reya says” (“ScienceDaily”).
I chose this article based on that last quote. Dr. Wechsler-Reya wants less harmful treatments for his patients. This is something that I strive to see in doctors and treatments.
When I look at my sister and other brain tumor patients, you can see the side effects the treatments had on them. Visible one inch thick scars on the back of their head or on their torso are signs to the world of what they went through. Having less harmful treatments can minimize the size of those scars, or even eliminate them completely.
Check out the article and others like it. There is a lot you can learn from studying the science behind brain tumor treatments. The link to the article is:
Also if you have not already, do not forget to like us on facebook and Google+. And remember to sign the petition for Congress to put more money into brain tumor research. It follows exactly what Dr. Wechsler-Reya said: to come up with treatments that are more effective and less harmful. We need research to do that. Sign the petition and then send it to your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, anyone.
"For brain tumors, origins matter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily LLC, 13 2012. Web. 14 Nov 2012. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143659.htm>