Neurology Central

Personalized medicine in neuro-oncology

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The latest catch phrase in cancer medicine is ‘personalized medicine’ denoting the potential to devise and prescribe therapies based on molecular and genetic information quasi-unique to the patient and the patient’s tumor as well as therapies developed using cell line or rodent tumor model screens of drug candidates [1–8]. The molecular–genetic approach has the potential of being far more informative than the high-throughput cell line and/or rodent tumor model approach for a number of reasons. While some information can be obtained from glioblastoma cell lines and/or rodent tumor models, the main flaw of the cell line approach is the reality that, aside from glioblastoma, lower grade glial tumors do not grow well in culture without genetic manipulation nor do they grow in rodents. Furthermore, monolayer culture is not always informative or predictive of in situ patient tumors so, at the least, 3D culture methods should be used. We are aware that some investigators are testing drug and drug combinations in rodent intracerebral tumor models in an effort to personalize drug therapy for patients. Unfortunately, that approach will not work well in glial tumors as the ability of tumor cells to grow in culture and in animals is limited to glioblastoma lines and not reliable for low- and mid-grade glioma tumors.

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