A Saudi-American medical team has successfully discovered the causes of the genetic disorders of high grade meningioma brain tumors through the first joint study between Harvard scientists and Broad Institute of Technology to improve human health using Genomics, and from King Fahd Medical City genome project, supported by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The study involved examination of the integrated genetic analysis of about 140 cases of high-grade meningioma tumor genetically compared to benign tumors.
"Meningioma Brain Tumors are the most common types of brain tumors in adults, and most of these tumors are slow to grow and can be surgically removed," said Dr. Malak al-Thaqafi, a senior researcher from the Saudi side in the study at KFMC. "However, 15% of them are fierce, and of second or third degree, which may result in multiple complications to the patient, as scientists found that most of the of the high grade tumors carry genetic mutations in the brain of neurofibromatosis type II (NF-2) and 11 other genes, in addition to significant disorders in the arms of chromosomes."
She added: "The study found an increase in genetic immune disorders, which highlights the importance of paving the way for the use of modern immunotherapies for the treatment of these aggressive tumors as an alternative to surgical treatment in cases that are difficult to eradicate surgically or that upon which radiation therapy is hard to apply."
Dr. Malak pointed to the importance of this research in understanding the development of these tumors at the genetic level and to allow for the use of immunotherapy, which is already being used effectively in other types of skin and lung tumors.
On behalf of the research team, Dr. Malak gave thanks to all the patients for their contribution to the understanding of science, and to Sanad Charitable Association for Children Cancer, represented by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Princess Adilah Bint Abdullah, for their support of this research from the Saudi side. The research was published in the Journal of Genomic Medicine of the Nature Publishing Group.
Dr. Malak will present this study at the Meeting of the American Society of Neurology in an official invitation from the American state of California.