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Researchers discover possible new methods for increasing radiation therapy effectiveness

Focus is on inflammatory protein

Promise -

 Krishna P. Bhat, Ph.D.

Inflammatory protein is instigator

By Scott Merville

A prominent protein activated by inflammation is the key instigator that converts glioblastoma multiforme cells to their most aggressive, untreatable form and promotes resistance to radiation therapy, an international team lead by MD Anderson researchers reported in the journal Cancer Cell. The discovery points to new ways to increase radiation effectiveness and potentially block or reverse progression of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and lethal form of brain tumor.

“The pathway we identified serves as an escape mechanism for tumors,” says lead author Krishna Bhat, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pathology. “In newly diagnosed patients, even before treatment, these cells already are poised to meet radiation therapy challenges.”

This research was funded by the Caroline Ross Endowed Fellowship in Brain Cancer Research, the American Brain Tumor Association Basic Research Fellowship,  MD Anderson’s Odyssey Special Fellowship,  the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative, the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society; the V Foundation,  grants from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health  including MD Anderson’s Brain Tumor SPORE grant (P50CA127001 and R01-CA1208113), MD Anderson’s National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA016672), the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the Ben and Catherine  Ivy Foundation and the Dutch Cancer Society.

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