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News Link • Drugs and Medications

A*STAR scientists discover potential drug for deadly brain cancer

• http://www.bio-medicine.org,
 1. A*STAR scientists have identified a biomarker of the most lethal form of brain tumours in adults- glioblastoma multiforme. The scientists found that by targeting this biomarker and depleting it with a potential drug, they were able to prevent the progression and relapse of the brain tumour.

2. This research was conducted by scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology led by Dr Prabha Sampath, Principal Investigator, in collaboration with A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute (BII), and clinical collaborators from Medical University of Graz, Austria, and National University of Singapore. The research findings were published on Aug 23 in the scientific journal, Cell Reports from Cell Press.

3. The scientists found that the biomarker, miR-138, is highly expressed in cancer stem cells compared to normal neural stem cells. They thus carried out in vitro experiments to deplete miR-138 in these cancer stem cells with a potential drug, antimiR-138, to observe the effect. They found that when miR-138 is depleted, the cancer cells are completely destroyed. This is an important breakthrough as current therapies such as gamma radiation and surgical methods proved to be inadequate in treating these brain tumours, which tend to re-grow from cancer stem cells and become extremely lethal.

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