High grade gliomas are a devastating group of cancers and represent the leading cause of brain tumour-related deaths in both children and adults.
These aggressive tumours are difficult to treat and result in poor survival rates. Thus, it is essential to explore different mechanisms through which high grade gliomas can be managed.
One such mechanism has been discovered by the researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. Previous research had demonstrated that the growth of high-grade gliomas depended on a protein called neuroligin-3. therefore, targeting it might prove beneficial.
The research team prevented the tumours from accessing this protein by blocking its production and observed that without this protein, the tumours stopped growing and found that the absence of neuroligin-3 halted the growth of high-grade gliomas.
"The findings suggest that interrupting the neuroligin-3 signal could be a helpful strategy for controlling high-grade gliomas in human patients," says Michelle Monje, Assistant Professor of Neurology and senior author of the study.
It is important to note that blocking neuroligin-3 does not represent a cure for high-grade gliomas, as it does not kill the cancer cells. However, this mechanism could be combined with other treatment strategies which may lead to improving the survival rate and quality of life of individuals diagnosed with high grade-gliomas.