It wasn’t the first wedding anniversary present that Lori Mines was hoping for. After seeking treatment for a debilitating migraine, Lori was diagnosed with advanced stage brain cancer. The prognosis for the disease is usually poor, but researchers are giving some patients with malignant brain tumors new hope for a longer life through research to help predict tumor aggressiveness and survival based on the unique characteristics of their tumors.
In a new study at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, experts found that survival among patients with a specific biomarker called MGMT promoter methylation more than doubled when treated with specific chemotherapy and radiation.
“Historically the treatment has been a black box without a real standard-of-care therapy,” said Arnab Chakravarti, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology and senior author of the new study published in JAMA Oncology June 28, 2018. “That’s why utilizing predictive biomarkers is so important.“
By tailoring treatments through identified biomarkers, experts want to give those diagnosed with brain cancer renewed hope for both their care and their lives. “We’re examining novel clinical trials, targeted therapies, immunotherapies, some of which look very promising right now,” he said. “There’s definitely hope.”