Deadly brain cancer genes identified
RESEARCHERS investigating a severe type of brain cancer - glioblastoma mul tiform - have identified eight genes that predict how long a patient will survive following diagnosis. The genes, which are linked to the immune system, could help clinicians determine the best course of treatment in the future. Gliomas are a type of tumour that starts in the glial cells of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Glia are the support cells of the nervous system, providing physical support and insulation to neurons.
Glioblastoma multiform, also known as grade 4 astrocytoma, is the most common and aggressive form of glioma. For this subtype of cancer, patients rarely survive much longer than a year from diagnosis. Even when surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are used, prognosis is poor. Glioblastoma multiform does not respond well to current treatments. There are a number of reasons for this resistance to interventions, these include the difficulty of getting drugs to the tumor site due to disrupted blood supply and a build up of fluid in the area.
The tumours associated with glioblastoma multiform grow particularly quickly and migrate easily into neighbouring sections of brain tissue. Because of the tumour’s position in the brain, even when surgery is performed, it is virtually impossible to remove all of the cancerous tissue, making relapse inevitable. This cancer type accounts for more than half of all brain tumors and affects an estimated 2-3 people per 100,000. A team of scientists from the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China, recently embarked on research investigating the role of genetics and immunity on the survival rates of this pernicious cancer variant.
In other cancers, drugs have been designed that improve the immune system’s ability to attack the cancer. The treatments effectively “take the brakes off” the immune system. However, to date, this has not been possible in gliomas. In the current study, the researchers, headed up by Dr. Anhua Wu, looked at tissue samples from 297 people with brain tumours. Of these, 127 people had glioblastoma and the others had less aggressive forms of glioma.
In all, the team analysed 322 genes involved in the immune system. After extensive screening, eight specific genes were identified as playing a significant role in glioblastoma multiform. Three of the eight genes were shown to have a protective role, while the other five increased the risk of earlier death. The researchers were able to construct a genetic signature that predicted the survival times of the patients and divide them into low- and high-risk groups. Even after controlling for factors such as treatment type, those in the high-risk genetic group were twice as likely to have a shorter survival time than those in the low-risk group. The high-risk group survived an average of 348 days after diagnosis, the low-risk group survived an average of 493 days. photo by Syed Rizwan shortly after Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) is signed with DHA Karachi and CPLC. This, she observed during visit to the Police Facilitation Center established in DHA which initially will cover the entire District South, says a statement on Saturday.
Maqsood Ahmed Commandant Special Security Unit briefed in detail about the efforts and the facilities to be made available for the general public. She said that the efforts to establish PFC KARACHI—Aseefa Bhutto Zardari accompanied by Bakheet Ateeq Al Raomaithi Acting Counsul General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) visited the Police Facilitation Centre (PFC) and appreciated the efforts for establishing PFC in Karachi where public grievances will be resolved through one window operation.
The PFC will be opened for public on modern lines is a remarkable step which will help facilitate common man in resolving their issues relating to Police and other departments.
She emphasized the need for early opening of other Police Facilitation Centers in the city and hoped that all the strategic and administrative partners would extend their maximum cooperation to resolve the public grievances.
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari opined that the Police Facilitation Center will play pivotal role to help provide relief to common man and present a better image of police.
She also appreciated the role played by Special Security Unit and its staff, who have played a major role in the establishment of PFC. The PFC shall be manned by the staff of SSU. Additional Inspector General of Police Karachi Mushtaq Mehar and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.
Ms Aseefa Bhutto Zardari accompanied by Bakheet Ateeq Al Raomaithi acting Consul General of United Arab Emirates visited Police Facilitation Centre DHA. Maqsood Ahmed Commandant Special Security Unit briefing about available facilities at PFC for resolving public grievances through one window operation.—PO