Scientists Breakthrough to Better Understanding of Fatal Brain Tumor

Scientists have recently made a major breakthrough in their understanding of just how fatal brain tumors grow. This could lead to improved treatment for patients. Experts found cells within a malignant brain tumor known as “glioma” rely on fats in order to fuel tumor growth.
This contradicts previous scientific findings that stated that tumor cells require mostly sugar in order to create energy. Glioma is the most common form of primary malignant brain tumor in adults and is one of the most difficult cancers to treat. There are about four cases for every 100,000 people each and every year. New discoveries offer a unique view of the biology of brain cancer cells, which offers very significant implications for the understanding of tumor behavior and improved treatments for the condition.
During the study, researchers used tumor tissue which had been donated by patients who were undergoing surgery as well as mouse models of the disease. The complete publication can be found in Neuro-Oncology journal, which was published yesterday.
Dr. Elizabeth Stoll from Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience is the lead author of the study. She says patients with malignant glioma currently receive a poor prognosis, and new interventions are desperately needed to increase the survival and quality of life for patients with the condition. Their results provide new insight into the fundamental biochemistry of cancer cells, with exciting implications for patients in the future.
Most cells within the adult brain require sugars to produce energy and sustain function. Interestingly, they have discovered that malignant glioma cells have a completely different metabolic strategy as they actually prefer to break down fats to make energy. These findings provide a new understanding of brain tumor biology, and a new potential drug target for fighting this type of cancer.