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Scientists "reverse engineer" brain cancer cells to find new targets for treatment

Glioblastoma is one of the most devastating forms of cancer, with few existing treatment options. It is also a leading cause of cancer-related death in children and young adults. Scientists have ‘reverse engineered’ brain cancer stem cells gene by gene, uncovering multiple potential targets for this hard-to-treat cancer. 

“We think that, in one big experiment, we have uncovered many new targets for glioblastoma, some of which were surprising,” says Dr. Peter Dirks, co-principal investigator of the study, Staff Neurosurgeon and Senior Scientist at SickKids. “These glioblastoma stem cells are also resistant to treatment, which is one reason that these tumours are so hard to cure. We need new ways to disrupt these cells specifically if we are going to give people a better chance of survival.”

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