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Foundation Young Investigator Awardee Identifies New Meningioma Biomarkers

By November 3, 2009December 18th, 2023Awareness, Science & Research

Meningiomas are brain tumors that can develop in NF2 as well as in the general population. In non-NF2 patients, meningiomas account for one-third of all nervous system tumors; interestingly, over half of meningiomas in the general population have NF2 gene mutations.  Even when benign these tumors, because they grow on membranes associated with the brain in a limited skull space, can cause significant health risks, including a risk of becoming malignant. In the absence of effective drug therapies, surgery is currently the primary tool for meningioma management, but there is a high rate of tumor recurrence after surgery, and radiation treatment is often then employed to manage tumor growth.  There is a need to have a better understanding of meningiomas, so that they can be staged in terms of growth and malignancy risk, and so that we can progress towards developing targeted drug therapies. In a new publication*, Foundation Young Investigator Award recipient Okay Saydam** (Massachusetts General Hospital) have identified protein markers that might be used to indicate the status of, and clinical risk presented by, individual meningiomas.

Dr. Saydam and colleagues studied an array of meningiomas samples and found that 281 proteins are altered in expression from the normal state. One protein family in particular that was significantly increased in expression was the minichromosome maintenance (MCM) family. MCM proteins have already been shown to be useful markers of malignant progression in colon, breast and prostate cancers. Dr. Saydam’s study shows that MCM proteins may now also have value as markers for meningioma and might be used to monitor and predict growth, progression and risk of recurrence of these tumors.

* Saydam O, Senol O, Schaaij-Visser T, Sander R Piersma S, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Würdinger T, Peerdeman SM, Jimenez C. 2009 Comparative protein profiling reveals minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins as novel potential tumor markers for meningiomas. J Proteome Res.  Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]

** Dr. Saydam was a Foundation YIA recipient 2007-2009