Washington: Scientists have discovered the genetic cause behind the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer, they claimed. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have found that Glioblastomas, the lethal brain tumours, are caused by the fusion of two adjacent genes, and drugs that target the protein produced by this aberration can dramatically slow it`s growth. The findings are published in the journal `Science`. "Our findings are doubly important," said study leader Antonio Iavarone, professor of pathology and neurology at CUMC, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "From a clinical perspective, we have identified a druggable target for a brain cancer with a particularly dismal outcome. From a basic research perspective, we have found the first example of a tumour-initiating mutation that directly affects how cells divide, causing chromosomal instability." Iavarone said. "This is a very exciting advance in our understanding of cancer, and perhaps a first step toward a personalised, precision approach to the treatment of glioblastoma," said Stephen G Emerson, director of the HICCC.
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