Researchers at the The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center published a study this week that may have direct implications for the future of brain cancer treatment. The study titled “Genomically amplified Akt3 activates DNA repair pathway and promotes glioma progression” was published in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The aims of the study were to understand the mechanisms of how some brain cancer patients develop resistance to standard treatments including radiation and the chemotherapy agent temozolomide.
- Glioma: Term for brain cancer.
- Glioblastoma: Most common and highly aggressive form of glioma.
- DNA Repair: Mechanisms in which a cell identifies and corrects damage to the DNA molecules that encode its genome — this is done by DNA repair proteins.
- Kinases: A group of different proteins that regulate cell signaling- and play a role in cell growth, cell death and tumor growth.
About This Study
The study was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Wei Zhang, Ph.D., professor of Pathology. The lab focuses on research projects that lead to better understanding of the mechanisms that regulate gene products as they relate to cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment.
In a press release about the study Dr. Zhang stated, “This activation (DNA repair) led to enhanced survival of brain tumor cells following radiation or treatment with temozolomide. Our work has potentially broad application to multiple cancer types in which Akt3 is expressed. Blocking this pathway may help prevent or alleviate therapeutic resistance resulting from enhanced DNA repair.”
The results of this study have the potential to boost development and production of drug enhancements that could successfully circumvent this resistance to treatment, and effectively increasing rates of survival.