Glioblastoma multiforme tumor cells treated with Cisplatin and gamma irradiation
Meyers, Robert S.
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Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most prevalent and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans. Once diagnosed, patient survival times range from three months if left untreated to a 12 percent survival rate at two years with palliative treatment. Death is usually a result of cerebral edema and increased intracranial pressure associated with a necrotic mass. Treatment of GBM is very difficult due to the vulnerability of healthy brain tissue to conventional treatments and the restricted ability of the brain to repair itself, as well as the difficulties associated with administering chemotherapeutic agents across the blood brain barrier. Treatment with gamma irradiation and chemotherapy concurrently has been shown to significantly improve patient survival rates when compared to tumor resection alone (Patwardhan et. al., 2004). The expression of apoptosis genes in response to treatment with cisplatin or a combination cisplatin and gamma irradiation in two GBM cell lines, U87 and U251, was investigated by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Ideally, up regulation of genes associated with pro-apoptotic pathways and down regulation of genes associated with anti-apoptotic pathways would increase levels of programmed cell death by apoptosis, as opposed to necrosis. This may result in decreased cerebral edema and pressure, thereby increasing patient survival rates.