featured image Brain tumor growth stimulated by nerve activity in the cortex, Stanford study finds - neuroinnovations

Deadly brain tumours called high-grade gliomas grow with the help of nerve activity in the cerebral cortex, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  The current study, conducted in mice with an aggressive human brain cancer implanted in their brains, is the first to demonstrate stimulation of tumour growth by brain activity. The opensource study is published in the journal Cell.

It is rare for an organ’s primary function to drive the growth of tumours within it, state the team, adding that they don’t think about bile production promoting liver cancer growth, or breathing promoting the growth of lung cancer.  However, the team state that they have shown that brain function is driving these brain cancers.

The team explain that high-grade gliomas are the leading cause of brain-tumour death in children and adults with survival rates scarcely improving in the last 30 years.  Clinically, the team liken fighting high-grade gliomas to fighting a forest fire and state that the new findings indicate that this metaphorical forest fire has been difficult to extinguish because there is something akin to gasoline seeping up from the soil.

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