The National Brain Tumor Society estimates that around 700,000 Americans live with a primary brain tumor. These tumors can significantly impact patients’ health and quality of life, especially when they aren’t discovered early enough. Reports indicate that 51,329 people died of primary brain cancers and central nervous system tumors (CNS) in 2020; an estimated 18,990 Americans are predicted to lose their lives to brain cancers and CNS this year.
Glioblastoma is without a doubt one of the deadliest types of brain cancer. It accounts for 49.1% of all malignant brain tumors, has a five-year survival rate of only 5%, and is estimated to take more than 100,000 lives in the United States every year.
Although the disease is particularly deadly, early diagnosis can allow physicians to deploy treatments that can shrink or reduce the size of the tumor without having to resort to surgery.
Researchers from Penn State College of Medicines have now revealed that blood screenings could be used to detect brain cancers such as glioblastoma. The researchers found that they could use a certain biomarker in the blood to test for the presence of glioblastoma, track the disease as it progresses and guide physicians during the treatment process.
Penn State graduate and medical student Vladimir Khristov stated that although CT and MRI scans can allow physicians to diagnose and track the progression of brain cancers, the fact that they don’t produce detail at the molecular or cellular level prevents physicians from determining if the patient’s tumor is getting better or worse. As such, Khristov said, a supplemental diagnostic tool is needed to help doctors determine if a tumor is responding to treatment or growing bigger and, therefore, needing alternative treatment options.
Such a supplemental treatment tool could be of “tremendous value” to patients suffering from glioblastoma, said Penn State associate professor of neurosurgery and otolaryngology Brad Zacharia. The research team focused its attention on an antigen receptor called interleukin-13 receptor α2 (IL13Rα2), which has been found in elevated levels in the cancerous tissue of more than 75% of glioblastoma patients.
Penn State professor of neuroscience and anatomy James Conner notes that the antigen receptor has never been analyzed for its prognostic and diagnostic potential despite being overexpressed in cancerous tissue.
The researchers investigated this potential by examining the blood plasma and tumor tissue of 79 patients suffering from glioblastoma and compared it with blood plasma from 23 patients. They found that glioblastoma patients had higher concentrations of IL13Rα2 levels and that the antigen was likely concentrated in extracellular vesicles in tumor cells.
Connor said that testing for IL13Rα2 may allow physicians to obtain a much better idea of the presence of progression of glioblastoma compared to tumor samples. Furthermore, he said, the fact that the antigen is tumor specific indicates that it could be leveraged in tumor-targeted treatments without having a negative effect on surrounding tissues.
This easier path to detecting and tracking central nervous system malignancies could pave a path to early treatment using formulations commercialized by companies such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP), which could improve the clinical outcomes of those patients.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
BioMedWire (BMW) is a bio-med news and content distribution company that provides (1) access to a network of wire services via InvestorWire to reach all target markets, industries and demographics in the most effective manner possible, (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ news outlets (3), enhanced press release services to ensure maximum impact, (4) social media distribution via the Investor Brand Network (IBN) to millions of social media followers, (5) a full array of corporate communications solutions, and (6) a total news coverage solution with BMW Prime. As a multifaceted organization with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. BMW is where news, content and information converge.
To receive SMS text alerts from BioMedWire, text “Biotech” to 844-397-5787 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information, please visit https://www.biomedwire.com
San Francisco, California
BioMedWire is part of the InvestorBrandNetwork.