Novel biomarker for estimating brain tumour survival rate

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  • Published: Jan 9, 2015
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: NMR Knowledge Base
thumbnail image: Novel biomarker for estimating brain tumour survival rate

Italian researchers have identified a novel biomarker that correlates with the degree of survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and most aggressive form of brain tumour. It is α-aminoadipate, a metabolite in the pathway for producing the amino acid lysine.

The discovery was described in NMR in Biomedicine and was made possible by using proton NMR spectroscopy to measure the levels of α-aminoadipate in 42 glioblastoma stem-like cells grown from the tumour tissue of patients. When the spectra were compared with those of human neural progenitor cells from the human adult olfactory bulb and the developing human brain, this biomarker stood out. It was far more abundant in the diseased tissue than the other types that were monitored.

The high levels of α-aminoadipate were closely and independently linked to the survival times of the parent patients, providing a way to predict the speed of patient outcomes.

“The α-aminoadipate levels together with gene analysis or protein expression may therefore be explored to provide independent determinant prognostic factors in glioblastoma multiforme and may help in creating comprehensive risk models incorporating both molecular and metabolic markers,” the scientists concluded.

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