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Potential biomarker discovered for brain tumors in children

researcher in lab © Medical University of Vienna/Houdek

This was shown by a study conducted at the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna) and Vienna General Hospital within the framework of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and in collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

The new study by Johannes Gojo, junior doctor and researcher at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital and member of the CCC, investigated whether the enzyme telomerase could be used as a biomarker for ependymomas. Gojo states: "We were able to show that telomerase was primarily reactivated in tumors that exhibit a particularly aggressive course. This means that the tumor recurred despite surgical removal and subsequent radiotherapy and chemotherapy." The scientists suspect that this will enable them to identify patients who would benefit from more intensive treatment. Conversely, patients with less aggressive tumors could be spared chemotherapy. This would mean a huge improvement in the quality of life for those affected. "Together with other parameters, the presence of telomerase could be a big help in deciding on the course of treatment. It therefore represents a highly promising biomarker.” The study was published in the leading scientific journal Nero-Oncology.

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