Professor Martin van den Bent
Head of Neuro-Oncology, Erasmus Medical Centre
Anaplastic gliomas are a group of primary brain tumours that mainly affect adults in their thirties and forties . Advances in technology have allowed us to distinguish this tumour type by the changes that happen within the cells, including the presence of a mutation called IDH and the loss of an important piece of DNA called the 1p/19q. However, the impact of these changes on treatment outcomes is limited, making it essential to improve our understanding of this tumour type.
The current treatment for anaplastic gliomas consists of surgery and radiotherapy. The addition of chemotherapy has shown benefits in treating other tumour types such as glioblastomas. To test if the addition of chemotherapy with temozolomide would be beneficial to treat anaplastic gliomas, a clinical trial called CANTON is being conducted in would be beneficial to treat anaplastic gliomas, a recent clinical trial in Europe, North America, and Australia. However, the IDH mutation was discovered after the start of this clinical trial. Previous research has found that the presence of this mutation in tumours is associated with increased survival.
The aim of Professor van den Bent's research is to analyse the tumour samples collected from individuals participating in this clinical trial to gain a better understanding of the effects of the gene defects on treatment outcomes. This research will help identify patients who have a better prognosis and would benefit from intense treatment regimens.
This research project will play an important role by informing the prognosis for people with anaplastic gliomas. It will also help tailor treatments by identifying which individuals would benefit from more or less intense treatment and improve quality of survival.