Study finds mutation driving deadly brain tumors, and a potential remedy

Glioblastoma, the brain cancer that claimed the life of Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden, and which John McCain is currently battling, is an aggressive disease. Some with glioblastoma have a particularly deadly form of the cancer, but new findings from the Perelman School of Medicine offer fresh hope for this small patient pool.

A study led by Penn’s Zev Binder and Donald O’Rourke, in collaboration with a team from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, analyzed genetic, clinical, and imaging data from 260 patients with glioblastoma and found that those with a certain mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene had a more severe form of the disease. The average survival rate of those with the mutation was just six months, compared to an overall average survival of 15 months for glioblastoma patients.

The researchers hope that further research may allow them to target the gene to reduce the tumor’s size and save lives.

Read more at Penn Medicine News.