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Leading Research in Neuroscience

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Research Highlights

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer and effective immunotherapeutics are limited, with treatment currently based on chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A recent phase II clinical trial tested a personalized, targeted dendritic cell-based immunotherapy but there was no observed improvement in patient survival or progression-free survival compared to standard-of-care therapy. Here, Carmen Visus and colleagues have used tumor tissue samples from glioblastoma patients involved in this trial and receiving immunotherapy. Using a combination of mass spectrometry-based proteomics, microRNA sequencing and RT-qPCR they identified factors associated with survival or poor prognosis. Proteomics associated poor prognosis with various proteins including focal adhesion kinase 2 (FAK2), whilst microRNAs, miR-216b, miR-216a, miR-708 and let-7i, were associated with longer survival. Focussing on one pathway, FAK2, they integrated the proteomic and microRNA datasets and saw a negative association with overall survival across all patients. To test this, they added an FAK inhibitor to glioblastoma cell lines, including cells isolated from trial patients, and observed inhibition of gliomaspheres in treated cells, providing insights into potential immunotherapy targets.

Article | Open Access | | npj Vaccines