CTV NEWS | McGill University researchers discover way to fight brain tumours' resistance to therapy

Published: 20 August 2020

New findings out of McGill University in Montreal have revealed a potential way to overcome aggressive brain tumours' resistance to therapy: by deleting a specific gene. Researchers have long been searching for ways to treat Glioblastomas – the most stubborn type of brain tumour – as they’re well known for their resistance to treatment. A few years back, they were able to confirm the key role a gene called the OSMR gene plays in the process of brain cancer growth. By deleting this gene in mice with tumours created from human patient cells, researchers at McGill were able to extend the critter’s life expectancy post-treatment by more than 50 per cent. “We previously showed (the OSMR) gene regulates tumour growth,” said Dr. Arezu Jahani-Asl, assistant professor of medicine at McGill University whose lab oversaw the study, published in Nature Communications on Monday. “They produce more energy so the cancer cells can use this energy to survive." The current process to fight Glioblastomas is to remove them surgically, then perform radiation and chemotherapy on the patient. “Despite intense efforts, the patients die on average between 16 to 18 months" after diagnosis, Jahani-Asl said. “They always come back, these tumours, and it’s just impossible to get rid of them.”

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