A Potential Biomarker For Aggressive Brain Cancer

Researchers have found that the levels of a protein called BCL6 can be used to identify patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a particularly aggressive type of brain cancer.

AsianScientist (Jun. 19, 2017) – Researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore have discovered that a protein called BCL6 could potentially be used as a marker to predict clinical outcomes of patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most malignant cancer of the brain. Their findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

GBM is aggressively cancerous as the cells reproduce rapidly and spread extensively in the brain, and is also highly resistant to conventional therapy. This makes treatment exceptionally tough and challenging. GBM patients usually survive less than 15 months after diagnosis.

The present study, led by Professor H. Phillip Koeffler, Senior Principal Investigator at CSI Singapore, found that GBM patients with lower levels of the BCL6 protein have a higher survival rate than those with high BCL6 expression. The study also suggests BCL6 as a possible target for GBM treatment; controlling the levels and activities of the BCL6 protein could potentially contribute to treatment of the disease.

“Our study established BCL6 as a potential prognostic marker to predict overall survival of GBM patients. Moving forward, we are looking into developing novel small-molecule inhibitors to restrain BCL6 activity, which could potentially be a promising strategy for GBM treatment,” said Koeffler.

The article can be found at: Xu et al. (2017) BCL6 Promotes Glioma and Serves as a Therapeutic Target.


Source: National University of Singapore; Photo: Shutterstock.
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