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'Blood test can detect common brain tumour'

Bengaluru, August 24, 2015, DHNS: 0:40 IST
Prof Somasundaram and his team have been able to identify a suitable target molecule and demonstrated how a cost-effective, easy and minimally invasive technique such as blood analysis can be used to identify such targets to better diagnose the condition. DH file photo. For representation purpose
A better insight into understanding and treating Glioblastomas (GBM)), one of the most evasive and common forms of brain tumour, is now possible, thanks to a recent study led by Dr Kumaravel Somasundaram, a professor at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

Prof Somasundaram and his team have been able to identify a suitable target molecule and demonstrated how a cost-effective, easy and minimally invasive technique such as blood analysis can be used to identify such targets to better diagnose the condition.

Patients survive for an average of just 15 months from the time of diagnosis of the condition. Current therapies being effective only for a few patients, the development of new drugs and therapies is possible by a better understanding of which molecules to target. Besides, the conventional methods of Glioblastomas diagnosis such as MRI or CT scan are costly, laborious and offer little in terms of identifying novel target molecules.

Serum is the fluid component of blood that is obtained after blood is allowed to clot, and can thus be obtained from a patient while taking samples for routine blood tests. The study has identified three proteins that have very different levels in the serum of GBM patients, as compared to healthy individuals.

Mamatha Nijaguna, the lead author on the study, said: “Looking at the levels of these three proteins in the serum, we can predict with 90 per cent accuracy whether the individual is a GBM patient or not.” A paper on the study appeared in the ‘Journal of Proteomics’ last month.

Collaborators in the study include researchers from German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforsc-hungszentrum or DKFZ) at Heidelberg, Germany, the Nimhans and the Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, both in Bengaluru. DH News Service

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