Medical Research Charities > News > Liquid biopsies for brain tumors: Can we improve diagnosis, treatment decisions, and research all via one advancement?

Liquid biopsies for brain tumors: Can we improve diagnosis, treatment decisions, and research all via one advancement?

MRC is thrilled to have the National Brain Tumor Society as our “Featured Charity” this week. Check out what they’ve been up to and a new advancement in brain tumor research in their blog post below:

New research, supported by the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, is paving the way for new advances in the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment planning, and research of brain tumors – both primary and metastatic.

Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff – one of the Principle Investigators in the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative – and his colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center conducted a study to determine whether sequencing DNA extracted from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) taken during routine lumbar punctures could identify tumor-associated mutations and provide clinically meaningful insights into the biology of a patient’s brain tumor before, during, and after treatment – all without typical invasive surgery to acquire a traditional biopsy.

Cancer research and treatment is increasingly moving toward a precision medicine paradigm that relies on understanding the specific biological, genetic, and molecular changes that are occurring to drive an individual’s tumor growth. In this approach targeted drugs can be used to seek out and exploit these specific alterations in tumor cells.

In order to find these mutations and alterations, a sample of a patient’s tissue needs to be acquired for testing and analysis. Tissue is traditionally collected during a biopsy, which for brain tumor patients requires a trip to the operating room to surgically remove the tumor tissue. And, of course, any surgical procedure into an area as sensitive and important as the brain is invasive and comes with significant risks. This has hampered the full expansion of a precision medicine paradigm in neuro-oncology.

Click here to read the full story by Tom Halkin, National Brain Tumor Society.