Brain tumors, such as those that affect glial cells, are amongst the most lethal of all cancers. Oftentimes, before a cure or treatment for a disease can be developed, it is vital to understand the pathology underlying the disease. Now, scientists at New York Medical College have identified a mechanism by which gliomas spread rapidly through brain tissue and perhaps more importantly, drugs already exist that may be able to curb this spread (Nature Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 9, Sep 01).
Maiken Nedergaard and colleagues have discovered that glioma tumor cells release the neurotransmitter glutamate, which carves a path of destruction through brain tissue allowing the tumor cells to advance. Compounds that block the release of glutamate, such as MK801, were able to slow the growth of tumors implanted in the brains of adult rats.
Jeffrey Rothstein and Henry Brem of Johns Hopkins University discuss how the findings in rats could be extrapolated to humans with brain cancer in an accompanying News & Views article.
Dr. Maiken Nedergaard
Department of Cell Biology, Anatomy and Pathology
New York Medical College
Valhalla, New York
Tel: +1 914 594 4111
Fax: +1 914 594 4453
Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein
Department of Neurology
Johns Hopkins University
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: +1 410 614 3846
Fax: +1 410 955 0672
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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