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November 2018 - Monthly update

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

The ESRs are currently hard at work drafting a review on in silico biomarkers for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), conducting a systematic search on standard scientific literature publishing platforms using a determined list of keywords to compile a list of papers, which are being curated for relevance and applicability to the topic.

The purpose of this review is to define an exhaustive list of the biomarkers for GBM found in blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain tissue with potential actionable diagnostic, prognostic and predictive properties. Emphasis is placed on usefulness (e.g. what does this biomarker tell us, how does it help define treatment, and is it a biomarker accepted for its use by regulatory bodies), actionability (can the biomarkers be detected/collected while retaining patient comfort, can the biomarker be assessed and accessed noninvasively, how long does it take to collect the biomarker) and economy (how much does it cost to run the tests, who are the end users, and can it be easily integrated into existing clinical routines).

Outside of the group efforts, the ESRs have been at work developing their own individual projects. To provide a snapshot, we’ll be asking two ESRs to weigh in regularly with updates on how their own projects are going, potential new directions in their work or insights they would like to share. This month we have updates from Ahmed A. Ali and Ana Belen Diaz.


"I’m in the process of setting up a study to clinically evaluate the diagnostic value of newly identified brain tumor biomarkers to be provided by my colleagues at Karolinska Institutet, Istituto N. tumori Regina Elena and Raboud Universitet. In the study itself, a cohort of 100 glioma patients within one year of diagnosis and 100 healthy control subjects between the ages of 40 and 70 will be recruited. The objective of this study is to identify the most clinically useful diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers."

Ahmed A. Ali, ESR-14 at the MTA Group in Italy


"My project is focused on the identification of novel circulating miRNAs in the serum of brain cancer patients through next-generation sequencing (NGS), but as it is a very novel field, we’re trying to optimize the protocols and select the most appropriate methods and kits. First, I selected a small cohort of patients well-characterized in my institute (IFO, Rome, IT) to do a pilot experiment and I tested the RNA quality for NGS experiments. This first NGS experiment will be use tissue and serum samples from glioblastoma patients and healthy controls."

Ana Belen Diaz, ESR-6 at IRE, Rome, Italy

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