An international team of scientists at the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research (LICR) in the University of California have reportedly discovered a way to inhibit the growth of aggressive tumour cells called “GBM” cells or Glioblastoma Multiforme cells, by blocking the communication pathway between the malignant tumour cells and the non-mutant tumour cells.
According to the scientists, the GBM cells could be blocked or disrupted to reduce the growth or spread of tumour across the neighbouring cells and thereby significantly control the process of malignancy. It is also said that the GBM cells are composed of a diverse assembly of cell subtypes featuring complex genetic variation. Hence, anti-cancer therapies targeted on specific genetic mutations seem to be ineffective against brain tumour cells.
It has also been established that the average survival rate for a GBM positive patient is about 9 to 12 months, in spite of investing maximum efforts into the treatment. The baffling fact is that, the statistics are found to remain constant for the past few decades.
The rapid growth of GBM cells is apparently controlled by the presence of certain mutant cells that contain the EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) gene. The latest findings from the research have revealed the presence of certain molecules in the mutant tumour cells, that could trigger the EGFR activity on the non-mutant tumour cells. So, if the scientists find a way to control these molecules, then we might have a sure shot solution for controlling brain tumour cells and thereby enhance the survival rate of the patient by a big notch!