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Bioengineer.org: Biomarker may aid in determining treatment for cancer patients

UC medical student leads research to aid treatment of glioblastoma

Patients with glioblastomas or malignant brain tumors, face a difficult future. The disease is fatal, and only about 5 percent of patients are alive five years after their diagnosis, explains Haidn Foster, a third-year medical student at the UC College of Medicine and first author of a recent study of glioblastoma patients in the scholarly journal Neuro-Oncology Advances.

The findings were reported by Bioengineer.org, a biotechnology news service.

Foster’s study looked at health outcomes of 188 glioblastoma patients and found that individuals who tested positive for an antibody indicating Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) exposure lived an average of 404 days after their cancer diagnosis compared to an average of 530 days for patients who were never infected by HCMV.

A life expectancy difference of four months is an important consideration for patients and their physicians. “For glioblastoma patients time is precious and treatment that would prolong life by a few weeks or months is considered a victory,” said Foster.

Read coverage in Bioengineer.org

Learn more about Foster's work with glioblastoma online