Brain cancer breakthrough
UF Health researchers have discovered a molecular pathway involved in the deadly spread of the most lethal kind of brain cancer. Their findings, which appear in the advanced online edition of EMBO Molecular Medicine, may help physicians make better decisions about treatment and help researchers pinpoint a target for therapeutic drugs in about half of all patients diagnosed with the form known as glioblastoma. “Glioblastoma is the worst type of brain cancer, and also the most common brain cancer in adults,” said Florian Siebzehnrubl, Ph.D., a UF research assistant professor of neurosurgery. “There is no cure and the prognosis is poor, mainly because the cancer cells can quickly infiltrate the entire brain.” The researchers found a molecular pathway, called the ZEB1 pathway, that, when present, causes cells to leave the initial tumor site, generates resistance to chemotherapy in these cells and generates new tumors away from the initial site. Understanding this could help researchers find better ways to target the disease.