A study conducted by The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network and published online today in Cancer Cell used epigenomic profiling, which maps specific chemical changes or 'marks' to different areas of the genome, to reveal a new subtype of an aggressive form of brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). Most patients with GBM survive only 12-15 months after their initial diagnosis. However, patients with this specific subtype, called Glioma CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (G-CIMP), have a median survival of three years. Patients with this subtype are also younger at diagnosis with a median age of 36 compared to a median age of 56 for other GBM subtypes. While investigators are still determining which of these specific methylation 'marks' play a driving role in this survival difference, the results lay a foundation for the potential development of treatments targeted at this specific epigenomic profile.
Read press releases from TCGA participating institutions:
- University of Southern California: USC Researchers Discover New Molecular Subtype of Brain Cancer
- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: Molecular Discovery Points to New Therapies for Brain Tumors