SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have made a new discovery that could make all the difference in diagnosing the deadliest type of brain tumor.
They’ve identified a gene that causes the deadliest brain tumor: glioblastoma.
“I think it’s a quite promising discovery,” said Mariano Viapiano, director of the Brain Tumor Lab at Upstate Medical University. “This is a new oncogene, which are genes that transform normal cells into cancer cells.”
Now that they know it exists, Viapiano believes they’ll be able to better diagnose the tumor. “We look for that gene and having that gene increased would mean that tissue is actual tumor tissue,” he said.
Viapiano also says it may help with glioblastoma treatment. “In fact, investigators did that both in vitro in cells and in animal models and they found significant killing of the tumor cells,” he said.
Finding this gene isn’t necessarily a game-changer on its own — but it’s significant.
“Each single discovery, each little discovery that we find is moving our bar to better, better therapy,” said Viapiano. Better therapy and one step closer to one day, finding a cure.