Patients diagnosed with a type of brain tumor called glioblastoma survived for longer when they were treated aggressively with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But far from suggesting that more treatment always leads to better survival, the study by UC San Francisco underscores the critical role of genomic profiling in diagnosing and grading brain tumors.
In the study, UCSF researchers followed 38 patients with a tumor type that was reclassified by the World Health Organization in November 2021, from a grade 2 or 3 glioma, to a “glioblastoma, IDH-wildtype, CNS WHO grade 4,” based on its molecular features. The new more accurate diagnosis comes from genomic profiling in which the DNA alterations that drive tumor growth are identified. The previous diagnosis was determined by traditional microscopic comparisons between cancer cells and normal cells.
All patients underwent genomic sequencing using the UCSF500 Cancer Gene Panel and were offered treatment consistent with a conventional glioblastoma, the deadliest and most common adult brain tumor. The length of their survival was compared with a retrospective cohort of 130 patients with the same tumor type, whose treatment regimens were more conservative, in line with the previous tumor classification.
The first group of patients survived an average of 24 months, while the second group survived an average of 16 months, the researchers reported in their study, appearing in the online issue of Neuro-Oncology on April 8, 2022, and publishing in the journal’s print version later this year.
“The study shows that genomic profiling resulted in more aggressive patient management that ultimately led to improved clinical outcomes, compared to the biologically matched historical patient cohort,” said senior author, David Solomon, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Pathology, investigator at the UCSF Brain Tumor Center, and a principal investigator of the UCSF Glioblastoma Precision Medicine Program.
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[Source(s): University of California – San Francisco, EurekAlert]