MD Anderson scientists may have discovered why some brain cancer patients develop resistance to standard treatments.
Enhanced DNA repair, which allows damaged or mutated cancer cells to repair themselves, can enable glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer, to progress more quickly.
“A major obstacle to effective treatment is acquired resistance to treatment,” says Wei Zhang, Ph.D., professor of Pathology. “Enhanced DNA repair can allow these cancer cells to survive, contributing to resistance and tumor recurrence.”
Zhang’s team has identified Aktr3 as an oncogene that can “robustly” stimulate glioma progression. The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.