SEP 05, 2018 06:19 AM PDT

Why Glioblastoma Is So Deadly

Senator John McCain passed away recently after battling brain cancer. Most forms of brain cancer are aggressive and difficult to treat because medications cannot reach the brain directly, but Sen. McCain had glioblastoma, essentially the worst of the worst. It’s quite rare and almost always fatal. Median survival for patients with glioblastoma is 14 months. Neurosurgeon Dr. Clark Chen says that glioblastoma disproportionally affects people who have superior cognitive skills. In a calendar coincidence, McCain died on the same date as Sen. Edward Kennedy, who also succumbed to glioblastoma. 

Neurotransmitters that are involved in higher cognitive tasks are also included in the growth and spread of glioblastoma. Currently, there is no cure and very few effective treatments for glioblastoma, but research into immunotherapy is the most promising avenue so far. If a patient’s immune system can be manipulated to fight cancer cells the way it works on infections and viruses, there could be significant progress made towards drug therapies that could be injected directly into the brain at the tumor site. 

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 09, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 09, 2019
A More Practical Theory Regarding Tabby's Star
A distant star system called KIC 8462852, also commonly known as ‘Tabby’s Star,’ has a particularly interesting reputation for dimming sp...
DEC 09, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 09, 2019
How Astronomers Determine the Universe's Age
The universe is so old and so large that the Earth is but an insignificant speck of dust by comparison. Astronomers are always trying to make sense of the...
DEC 09, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 09, 2019
How Desert Ant Queens Establish a Colony
When a founding desert ant queen is ready to establish her own colony, the harsh environment compels her to do something that no other queen would ever dar...
DEC 09, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 09, 2019
Have You Heard of the World's Most Trafficked Animal?
If you were asked what the world’s most trafficked animal was, what would you say? If you answered pangolin, then you’d be correct. Most people...
DEC 09, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 09, 2019
Sunflowers Inspire Solar Harvesting Technology
One of the most remarkable capabilities of living things is phototropism—in which living organisms track and move with light sources. The most famili...
DEC 09, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 09, 2019
What's Inside a Pufferfish May Surprise You
Pufferfish are among one of the most easily discernable fish in the ocean, especially when inflated. But do you know how these little fish are able to expa...
Loading Comments...