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The World in Medicine
May 20, 2009

Brain Tumor Clue

JAMA. 2009;301(19):1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.690

Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene (IDH1) help fuel the growth of a deadly type of brain tumor by triggering a chain of events that promote the development of blood vessels supplying the tumor, a team of US and Chinese scientists has found (Zhao S et al. Science. 2009;324[5924]:261-265).

The researchers found that IDH1 mutations in glioma tumor cells resulted in reduced levels of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG), which regulates the level of a substance that facilitates angiogenesis and tumor growth when oxygen is low. Adding a modified form of α-KG to glioma cells grown in culture reverses this effect.

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