Research Highlights

Genetic signatures for brain tumour

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.140 Published online 13 October 2010

Researchers have identified promising genetic biomarkers for the most common type of primary brain tumour — glioblastoma — which usually occurs in the cerebral hemisphere.

The team pinpointed the miRNA expression signatures for glioblastoma. Such signatures are known to help in the classification and outcome prediction of a wide range of human cancers. Glioblastoma does not respond well to therapy, and understanding its genetic targets could give better insights into the disease.

The researchers performed a large-scale, genome-wide miRNA expression profiling of glioblastomas and anaplastic astrocytoma, another nervous tissue tumour, with an aim to find deregulated miRNA.

They identified several differentially regulated miRNAs that could act as markers to differentiate between various grades of glioma and normal brain. They also identified a most discriminatory 23-miRNA expression signature, which precisely distinguished glioblastoma from anaplastic astrocytoma with an accuracy of 95%.


  1. Rao, S. A. M. et al. Genome-wide expression profiling identifies deregulated miRNAs in malignant astrocytoma. Modern Pathol. 23, 1404-1417 (2010)  | Article |