Brain Cancer Research and Advancement of Treatment

Introduction

Brain cancer is a severe issue that challenges scientists to find ways and methods to diagnose, treat, and study the disease. Glioblastoma is claimed to be the most prevalent type of brain cancer among adults. Each year in the USA, 14,000 glioblastoma cases are identified by healthcare professionals (Wang et al. 2019). Severe brain cancer has hit a lot of famous people who died recently, such as Edward Kennedy and John McCain. This paper will discuss the latest brain cancers researches and the progress that is made to date in the field. Furthermore, the advancement of treatment through successful brain tumor studies will be considered.

Research work on disease treatment

Scientists in 2018 reported that the progress in testing several therapies showed positive results. The usage of a “neoantigen vaccine” that is tailored for specific brain cancer types helped to evoke the immune system of patients with brain tumors (Zaidi et al. 2018, 170). This vaccine stimulated patients’ immune defense and encouraged it to target cancer; however, the impact was limited, and it did not help patients to recover. Moreover, glioblastoma was previously thought to contain one specific set of genes. However, Professor Jones, with a team from The Institute of Cancer Research in London, discovered different types of genes that glioblastoma tumors have (Jones et al. 2017). This finding suggests the necessity to study different kinds of brain cancer that may exist.

Glioblastoma hits thousands of people every year; thus, scientists put particular emphasis on researching this brain cancer. Cell Reports journal recently announced research that found potential brain cells target where drugs should be transmitted to treat a disease. Scientists detected ten vaccine targets that are based on “endothelial cells” (Dusart et al. 2019, 1690). Proteins that endothelial cells of the tumor contain can act as targets to suppress blood supply to the cancer cells or to deliver the vaccine through brain layers.

The challenge in finding the proper treatment against brain cancer lies in the fact that the brain has a complex structure, and the specific “blood-brain” layer separates it. Researchers state that cancer vaccines cannot pass this layer to get to a brain tumor to cure it without having a significant adverse influence on the brain cells (Zaidi et al. 2018, 171). In 2018, scientists found a way to deliver tiny packets with genes called “microRNAs” that fight against brain tumors in mice (Lopez-Bertoni et al. 2018, 2).

These “microRNAs” were able to get directly to the brain tumor of mice crossing the layer and circulate through cancer cells. However, the issue is that mice’ brains are small in comparison to a human’s head; therefore, it is hard to create a packet that will get to brain cancer bypassing other barriers. There may be needed nano-size catheters to inject the drug particles into the human brain.

Weill Cornell Medicine made a significant development that will help medical science to research the brain issue further. Researchers of the medical school found a protein “CEMIP” that causes the distribution and expansion of metastases that different kinds of cancer produce (Rodrigues et al. 2019, 1403). Metastases that the brain cancer creates are a common reason for patients’ death; therefore, professionals now have an opportunity to explore the new protein called and its effect on prediction, prevention, and therapy of brain metastases.

Research work on brain cancer diagnosis

Scientists have put substantial efforts to research brain cancer causes, origination, and consequences, and tried to improve the treatment options. However, during the time, the progress on brain tumors therapy development is still not moving fast. It is stated that during the previous 40 years to 2019, as less as 14 percent of people who were diagnosed to have a brain tumor can withstand a disease for five years (McKeever 2019). Furthermore, researchers claim that there is a drug resistance issue that leads to significant obstacles or failures in treatment (Bonnin et al. 2017). All these problems hinder the development of efficient therapy and diagnosis.

Professionals reported that there might be ten different types of glioblastoma. They should be identified and cured depending on the various failures that occurred in brain cells and vessels. Other studies support the data: brain cancer diseases have different subtypes that are formed by undergoing various genetic changes (Aldape et al. 2019). Medical science improved significantly due to researches conducted recently and presented new ways of treatment, such as immunotherapy.

Despite many improvements introduced in the field, some obstacles drive therapy advancements back. Treatment that helps patients to recover at the beginning becomes inefficient as cancer cells resist the therapy and recur after the initial stage of cure. Professionals from the Mark Israel Laboratory at the Norris Cotton Cancer Research Center reported a new method of resistance prevention of brain cancer cells. They found that the insulin “signaling pathway” influences the ability of a brain tumor to grow during cancer therapy (Bonnin et al. 2017, 11). Scientists claimed that there are existing vaccines that can suppress insulin signaling pathway that creates resistance. These results may influence new studies on vaccine resistance substantially.

Another challenge that motivates scientists to search for new ways to identify the disease as fast as possible is vague symptoms that a human has that might have brain cancer. A person can experience headaches, vision, or memory issues that may trick doctors. Researchers released the information that the chemical analysis of blood executed with the artificial intelligence system can help doctors to diagnose brain cancer faster (National Cancer Research Institute 2019). Quicker analysis and detection of cancer may increase the survival rate of brain tumor patients significantly as now brain cancer decreases patients’ lifespan by 20 years (National Cancer Research Institute 2019). This figure is claimed to be the highest for any kind of cancer disease.

Conclusion

All the changes and studies that are made nowadays in the area of brain cancer research show significant improvements as medical science has accelerated to find efficient treatment faster. However, the speed of advancements is still slow due to the many challenges that brain tumors present to the scientific world. Nevertheless, patients who participate in clinical trials, and the professionals who devote their lives to study the disease and find new solutions and therapy method, are not discouraged by the current situation.

Researchers contributed essential knowledge and insights to medical science to diagnose, treat, and prevent cancer. This information will be used further to study the topic as brain tumors will be killing patients until the cure is found. The new researches should shed light on how treatment drugs can pass through several layers of the brain to get directly to a tumor without affecting healthy brain neurons. Other studies suggested how to diagnose the disease and how to accelerate the immune system of a human to fight a brain tumor. Lots more reviews are coming soon that will help medical science to progress in the field. This determination and devotion will eventually help patients to recover and believe that the development will be fast.

References

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Bonnin, D., Ran, C., Havrda, M., Liu, K., Hitoshi, Y., Zhang, Z. … Israel, M. (2017). Insulin-mediated signaling facilitates resistance to PDGFR inhibition in proneural hPDGFB-driven gliomas. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 16(4), 705-716. Web.

Dusart, P., Hallstrom, B., Renne, T., Odeberg, J., Uhlen, M., Butler, L. (2019). A systems-based map of human brain cell-type enriched genes and malignancy-associated endothelial changes. Cell Reports, 29, 1690–1706. Web.

Jones, C., Mackay, A., Burford, A., Carvalho, D., Baudis, M., … Resnick, A. (2017). Integrated Molecular Meta-Analysis of 1,000 Pediatric High-Grade and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Cancer Cell, 32(4), 520-537. Web.

Lopez-Bertoni, H., Kozielski, K., Rui, Y., Lal, B., Vaughan, H., Wilson, D., … Green, J. (2018). Bioreducible polymeric nanoparticles containing multiplexed cancer stem cell-regulating miRNAs inhibit glioblastoma growth and prolong survival. Nano Letters, 18(7), 4086-4094. Web.

McKeever, C. (2019). Curing brain cancer – the challenges ahead. Web.

National Cancer Research Institute. (2019). AI blood test can spot signs of brain tumor to speed up diagnosis. ScienceDaily. Web.

Rodrigues, G., Hoshino, A., Kenific, C., Matei, I., Steiner, L., Freitas, D. … Lyden, D. (2019). Tumour exosomal CEMIP protein promotes cancer cell colonization in brain metastasis. Nature Cell Biology, 21, 1403-1412. Web.

Wang, J., Huang, C., Echeagaray, O., Amirfakhri, S., Blair, S., Trogler, W., … Chen, C. (2019). Advanced Therapeutics, 2(10), 1-11. Web.

Zaidi, N., & Jaffee, E. (2018). Immune cells track hard-to-target brain tumours. Nature, 565, 170-171. Web.