Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most commonly occurring brain tumor in adults. People with GBM often live less than 15 months following diagnosis because, despite surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, individual cancer cells escape and invade healthy surrounding tissue, making additional treatment attempts increasingly difficult. A new research has now revealed that activating a specific family of proteins may stop the spread of this most lethal and aggressive brain cancer.
Corresponding author on the study Kathryn Eisenmann, assistant professor at University of Toledo Health Science Campus in Ohio, US, said, "New therapies for GBM are desperately needed. We hope our latest finding will lead to a novel and effective treatment for this extremely aggressive cancer."
The current study expands upon an earlier discovery of a bioactive peptide called DAD (diaphanous autoregulatory domain) and small molecules called intramimics. Both DAD and intramimics activate a family of proteins called DIAPHs or mDIA, which are known to play vital roles in the spread of GBM.
The research team found that locking DIAPH into an 'on' state using DAD, intramimics stops GBM cells from invading normal brain tissue. They hope to soon evaluate the effectiveness of this new strategy in preclinical models, a crucial step in translating this discovery to the clinic and patients.
Eisenmann said, "GBM is lethal because it so effectively escapes and evades therapy. Our hope is this discovery will prove to be an anti-tumor strategy and one that will be safe and effective for patients."
The study appeared online in Molecular Biology of the Cell.