Annually there are 2,000 new cases of brain cancer in Australia. Prognosis for people with brain cancer is dire. Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common brain tumour, the most lethal and difficult to treat. 

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.


Dr Jennette Sakoff, Dr Mike Fay; Dr James Lynam

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