On glioblastoma It's serious tumor of the brain which is diagnosed almost twice in men. Now, a team of researchers have identified various molecular signatures of this type of cancer in men and women who could explain the disparity in their responses to treatment and survival. Indeed, the results of his research suggest that the adjustment of therapy given the gender of patients with glioblastoma based on these molecular subtypes can improve their survival.
About half of people who developed glioblastoma die in 14 months after the diagnosis, because this tumor is highly resistant to treatment and usually recurrences. When studying the affected, the researchers found that the therapies used to fight the disease were more effective in women than in men. And to try to understand the cause, they measured the rate at which the tumor grew using magnetic resonance imaging.
They calculated this rate of growth every two months in 63 patients with glioblastoma (40 men and 23 women) who received chemotherapy and radiotherapy after surgery, and found that although at first tumors had grown similar in both sexes, women were observed a constant and significant decrease in tumor growth after being treated with temozolomide, a chemotherapeutic drug that is commonly used in these cases.
Personalization of therapy, taking into account the sex of patients with glioblastoma based on discovered molecular subtypes, can improve their survival
Genetic differences in tumors, according to the patient's sex
The researchers used statistical algorithms to identify molecular subtypes that correspond to differences in the survival of men and women and grouped them into ten different subtypes – five for each of the sexes – and each group showed its characteristics regarding the activity of the genes and survival.
The genetic differences observed in the tumors are related to patient survival, which, according to Jingqin "Rosie" Luo, associate professor of surgery at the University of Washington and the main author of the study, it is necessary to determine these differences and take them into account biology research and treatment of glioblastoma.
Joshua B. Rubin, a professor of pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Washington and coauthor of the work, explained that his findings, published in Science translational medicine, suggest that male and female glioblastoma should be stratified in risk groups and analyzed the effectiveness of treatment in each gender in particular.