Standard treatment includes a combination of chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ) plus daily radiation treatment (RT) to the tumour for 6 weeks (known as the Stupp Protocol followed by further chemotherapy alone). When delivered successfully, it can prolong average survival by a year or more, but this is not a cure. Disease management is further hampered by the need to resect or biopsy tumour tissue for classification and grading. Blood-derived biomarkers provide the opportunity to better monitor response to therapy, however, access to such a tool is lacking in the treatment of GBM.
The present proposal is a pilot study to test whether serum levels of EphA2 (Ephrin type A receptor 2) can predict disease progression in GBM patients. EphA2 is a receptor protein that is overexpressed in GBM tumours; moreover, the content of EphA2 in tumours is associated with disease progression and a poor prognosis. The observation that circulating soluble fragments of the EphA2 receptor can be detected in serum opens the way to exploit serum levels of EphA2 as a biomarker of disease progression, and forms the basis of the present proposal.