A team of Indiana University researchers, building on earlier findings, have found evidence as to why standard chemotherapies used on glioblastoma (brain cancer) are not effective in treating the cancer.
Because cancer is fundamentally a disease of gene mis-expression, members in the laboratory of Heather Hundley, an associate professor in the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, focus on understanding gene regulatory mechanisms. They study a family of RNA-binding proteins called ADARs that are important for normal development. Altered function of these proteins occurs in over 35 human pathologies, including many cancers.
The researchers found in previous studies that human ADAR3 is over-expressed in brain tissue of patients suffering from glioblastoma. They recently discovered that when expressed at high levels in glioblastoma cells, ADAR3 is causing the cells to mis-express additional genes which leads to resistance to irradiation and temozolomide treatment. Details about their discovery have been published in Scientific Reports.