LOS ANGELES (Feb. 27, 2001) -- Using technology that enables them to analyze 18,000 genes in a single experiment, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have identified four genes that may play a role in the development of certain types of malignant brain tumors.
The research, reported in the February issue of the International Journal of Oncology, may facilitate earlier detection of glial tumors and eventually allow scientists to devise new approaches to preventing and treating these often-devastating cancers.
Gene array techniques were developed in recent years by scientists racing to map the human genome. Although the costs are high, these studies allow thousands of genes to be analyzed quickly a much more efficient process than the previous method of looking at each gene individually. Now gene array methods are used nationwide to perform research in a variety of fields. Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute is one of a relatively few sites that have adopted this technology specifically for the purpose of finding genes that are implicated in brain cancer.
Research Scientist Julia Y. Ljubimova, M.D., Ph.D., the papers first author, said gene-array technology has enabled Institute scientists to find several genes that are differentially expressed not only in glial tumors themselves but also in adjacent tissues that appear normal when viewed microscopically.
When surgeons remove a malignant tumor, the adjacent tissue looks normal at the pathological level but it is the source from which a recurrence develops. Now, with the gene profile and the ability to view that tissue at the molecular level, it looks malignant, said Dr. Ljubimova. This had previously been theorized but gene array technology allowed us to discover that fact.
According to Dr. Ljubimova (pronounced Lou-bee-mo-va), as new genes are discovered they contribute to a profile that can be used to monitor tumors, plan appr
Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center