National Post (Latest Edition)

TUMOURS MAY BE TRIGGERED AS HEAD INJURIES HEAL

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Brain cancer may be triggered when head injuries start to heal, a Canadian study has suggested. Injuries ranging from trauma to strokes could lead to the growth of tumours when replacemen­t cells mutate, according to Canadian researcher­s. The study focused specifical­ly on glioblasto­ma, a common form of brain cancer, and found that mutations can take place years before sufferers show any symptoms of brain cancer. Single-cell RNA sequencing and samples from 26 glioblasto­ma patients were used by researcher­s from the

University of Toronto, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Brain tumours began to form during the normal repair of brain tissue as a result of mutant cells becoming involved, the results suggest. “We’re excited about what this tells us about how cancer originates and grows,” said Dr. Peter Dirks, the lead researcher in the study. “It opens up entirely new ideas about treatment by focusing on the injury and inflammati­on response,” he added.

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