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Genetic mutations may explain a brain cancer’s tenacity

DNA damage to adult cells implicated in glioblastoma

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3:58pm, October 18, 2012

New work could help explain why a deadly type of brain cancer recurs easily even after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy have apparently banished it. Fully developed brain cells, not just stem cells, may take on new identities to evade therapy and come back later, the study suggests.

Just two changes to cancer-related genes in some adult brain cells are enough to spur the genesis of glioblastomas, Inder Verma, a molecular biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues report online October 18 in Science.

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