A Revolution in Brain Tumor Diagnosis
What are gliomas?
Glioma is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and/or spinal cord that begins in the glial cells that surround nerve cells.
Glioma can affect your brain function and be life-threatening depending on their location and rate of growth. Approximately 18,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a glioma each year.
Taking diagnosis from the cellular to the molecular level for personalized treatment.
Researchers have discovered through genetic testing of the tumor, they can accurately identify the sub-type of glioma. This testing:
- Helps to inform personalized treatment.
- Accurately categorizes 96% of gliomas.
- A glioma brain tumor diagnosis used to require and was limited to looking at cells under a microscope (after diagnostic imaging or surgery).
- This method led to inconsistent diagnosis and a one size fits all treatment plan.
- Offers improved diagnosis and treatment that is tailored to each tumor sub-type, leading to improved outcomes.
How it works.
Tests look for three specific mutations in the patient's DNA.
- 1p/19q codeletion: This is associated with increased tumor sensitivity to chemotherapy.
- IDH mutation: Associated with improved prognosis.
- TERT mutation: Necessary tumor formation in some organs; like brain.
Depending on the combination of mutations, doctors can place a patient in one of 5 groups.
- All three mutations present
- TERT and IDH mutations present
- Only IDH mutation present
- Only TERT mutation present
- No mutations present
Choose the treatment that offers the best possible prognosis for each patient.
How it benefits the patient.
- Better neurological outcomes
- Improved understanding of prognosis
- Proper treatment selection
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
Source: "Glioma groups based on 1p/19q, IDH, and TERT promoter mutations in tumors," New England Journal of Medicine (June 2015), Mayo Clinic and the University of California, San Francisco; CBTRUS Statistical Report: Primary Brain and Other Central Nervous System Tumors Diagnosed in the United States in 2009-2013.