Brain tumor research hailed among top advances in cancer care

Gene's link to brain tumors among top clinical research advances of 2011.

A UAB research study on brain tumors has been named one of the top clinical research advances of 2011 by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

radonc_brief_storyMarkus Bredel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Radiation Oncology Brain Tumor Laboratory in the Department of Radiation Oncology and scientist in the Neuro-Oncology program in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, published the study, “NFKBIA Deletion in Glioblastomas” in the Feb. 17, 2011, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bredel’s study also is featured in “Clinical Cancer Advances 2011:  ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer.” The report is an annual, independent review of advances in cancer research which have the greatest impact on patient care.

Bredel’s study was the first to implicate the deletion of a copy of a gene called NFKBIA as a contributing cause of glioblastoma. Mutations in NFKBIA, normally present on chromosome 14 in two copies (one each on the maternally and paternally inherited copies), have been shown to be present in a number of cancers including Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma, breast, lung and colon cancer. This was also the first study to associate a deletion of NFKBIA with human cancer and is believed to be responsible for poor patient outcomes; but that could lead to better diagnosis and targeted treatments in the future.

Recently, Bredel also was designated by the National Brain Tumor Society as the holder of the Billy Grey Chair of Research. The National Brain Tumor Society research programs play an integral role in the progress toward new therapies for patients with brain tumors.