Understanding Glioblastoma

We've heard about it all too often in recent years. Nine years ago it killed Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy. This weekend Senator John McCain passed away after battling the disease. Now, researchers believe these high-profile cases, among others, are no coincidence.

"I don't believe that the affliction of this disease, to these leaders, is an accident," said Dr. Clark Chen in an interview with Kare11. "In fact, the work that we've done in our laboratory have revealed a very interesting link, which is that the same neurotransmitters that allows you to understand what I'm saying right now, the same neurotransmitters that allows you to think, are the same factors that allow tumors to grow."

Glioblastoma is a very rare and aggressive form of brain cancer the has a short life expectancy once diagnosed. What Dr. Chen and other researchers have found is that those with higher cognitive functions are more likely to develop the disease. But, researchers continue to learn more about the disease as they devise better treatment options.

"We are now working on ways to re-educate our immune system so that they can fight off the cancerous cells through using viruses that's injected directly into the brain at the time of surgery," said Dr. Chen.

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