Targeted Treatments Give New Hope to Patients with Brain Tumors

New study links biomarker with increased rate of survival

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – It wasn’t the first wedding anniversary present that Lori Mines was hoping for. After seeking treatment for a debilitating migraine, Lori was diagnosed with advanced stage brain cancer. The prognosis for the disease is usually poor, but researchers are giving some patients with malignant brain tumors new hope for a longer life through research to help predict tumor aggressiveness and survival based on the unique characteristics of their tumors.

In a new study at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, experts found that survival among patients with a specific biomarker called MGMT promoter methylation more than doubled when treated with specific chemotherapy and radiation.Historically the treatment has been a black box without a real standard-of-care therapy,” said Arnab Chakravarti, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology and senior author of the new study published in JAMA Oncology June 28, 2018. “That’s why utilizing predictive biomarkers is so important.

By tailoring treatments through identified biomarkers, experts want to give those diagnosed with brain cancer renewed hope for both their care and their lives. “We’re examining novel clinical trials, targeted therapies, immunotherapies, some of which look very promising right now,” he said. “There’s definitely hope.”

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Lori Mines (left) talks with a friend. Diagnosed with a brain cancer in 2016, she credits new individualized treatments with helping maintain her quality of life, giving her more time with her husband and daughter.

A researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute examines a brain tumor sample under a microscope. A new study finds that a genetic biomarker can help guide treatment for some patients by predicting how they will respond to specific therapies.

Dr. Arnab Chakravarti reviews scans of a brain tumor. A new study at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute identified a specific biomarker that can help predict tumor aggressiveness and patient survival.

Lori Mines (left) celebrates her 40th birthday with her friends and family. Lori was diagnosed with a brain cancer in 2016 and is hopeful that advancements in individualized cancer care will give patients like her a better quality of life.

Lori Mines (left) poses for a picture with friends at her birthday party. Lori was diagnosed with a brain cancer just before her first wedding anniversary. Despite her prognosis, she has been fighting the disease, undergoing two surgeries as well as multiples rounds of chemotherapy treatments.