|Sample Collection Complete||Data Publicly Available|
|Image: Glioblastoma - MRI|
|Video: TCGA Investigator Dr. Neil Hayes Discusses TCGA Findings on Subtypes of Glioblastoma|
|Podcast: Spanish-language podcast on TCGA findings of four distinct molecular subtypes of glioblastoma|
|Video: TCGA Investigator Dr. Stephen Baylin Discusses Clinical Implications of TCGA Findings On Glioblastoma|
What is glioblastoma multiforme?
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a fast-growing type of malignant brain tumor that is the most common brain tumor in adults. In 2010, more than 22,000 Americans were estimated to have been diagnosed and 13,140 were estimated to have died from brain and other nervous system cancers.1 GBM accounts for about 15 percent of all brain tumors and occurs in adults between the ages of 45 to 70 years.2 Patients with GBM have a poor prognosis and usually survive less than 15 months following diagnosis. Currently there are no effective long-term treatments for this disease. View additional information on brain tumors.
What have The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers learned about GBM?
TCGA researchers have:
- Identified a new subtype of GBM that affects younger adults and has an increased survival rate. A subset of GBM tumors had specific chemical changes or ‘marks’ called methylation of a large group of genes. The methylation of these genes may account for the improved survival of these patients when compared to patients with other subtypes of GBM. These findings could aid in development of new treatment options for these patients.
- Recognized four distinct molecular subtypes of GBM that respond differently to aggressive therapies. Patients with one subtype survive about 50 percent longer than those with other GBM subtypes. Knowing a tumor’s subtype could help match each patient to the most effective therapies. See more information about TCGA brain tumor subtype studies.
- Identified possible mechanisms that can cause some GBM tumors to become resistant to therapy after treatment with the standard chemotherapy called temozolomide. Treatment with temozolomide can cause gene mutations that help tumor cells become resistant. If GBM tumors return after successful treatment with temozolomide, the new gene mutations make the tumor resistant to further treatment with the drug. This finding could be used to develop new drugs that will not activate this drug resistance mechanism.
- Pinpointed four gene mutations in GBM tumors that may provide new insights into the biology of this disease.
Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Network’s studies or studies using TCGA data?
Where can I find clinical trials to treat brain cancer that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?
View a list of NCI-supported adult GBM clinical trials that are now accepting patients.
1 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2010. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2010.
2 Levin VA, Leibel SA, Gutin PH: Neoplasms of the central nervous system. In: DeVita VT Jr, Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, eds.: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001, pp 2100-60.