Searching for biomarkers in Glioblastoma

Posted 6 Nov 2018

A biomarker for the earliest detection of brain cancer risk factors is in sight with Flinders researchers working on a new project targeting Glioblastoma – the most common form of brain cancer.

Data has already identified molecules we all have in common (called circular RNAs) which, if present at high levels, can drive mutations which are necessary for cancer to develop.

Associate Professor Simon Conn will now use a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to profile a range of patients afflicted with different grades of Glioblastoma to identify which circular RNAs are unique to each grade, and see how they drive cancer-causing mutations. His research will also test whether these circular RNAs can be detected in blood samples from these patients.

If this work demonstrates that specific circular RNAs are involved in the formation of Glioblastoma - and they can be detected in patients’ blood - it constitutes a biomarker for the earliest detection of brain cancer risk factors.

The work will also look to simply and non-invasively characterise the severity of the cancer and track a patient’s response to treatment.

This research is made possible thanks to SA Police’s Ride Like Crazy community cycling event, Cycle Cambodia to Cure Cancer community fundraisers and the friends and family of Anthony Mazzone.

Project title: Circular RNAs as Mutagens and Biomarkers in Glioblastoma

Lead researcher: Associate Professor Simon Conn


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