Health Watch -- The Nervous System: Brain Cancer Targets

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the brain and nervous system. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have found a possible new avenue for developing treatments for a common kind of brain cancer. Glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, is a cancer of the brain’s connective tissues. Doctors believe it occurs when there are too many copies of an epidermal growth-factor gene and of a mutant form of the gene.

Dr. Amyn Habib, the UT Southwestern neurologist who led this study, says his team found that the mutant gene generates a unique pattern of signaling that causes GBM cancer cells to grow and multiply unchecked. This knowledge could lead to the development of drugs that fight GBM by targeting the effects of the genes involved.

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February 2006

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