Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Brain Tumors: New Gene Clues

New Studies Point to Key Genes in Brain Tumors Called Gliomas
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

July 15, 2009 -- Scientists have identified a network of up to 31 genes linked to brain tumors called gliomas, including one that may be a target for new treatments.

Those discoveries are featured in two new studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the first study, scientists identify up to 31 genes that, when containing certain mutations, set the stage for the development of gliomas.

Those genes aren't necessarily the only genes involved in gliomas, but they appear to be ringleaders, researcher Markus Bredel, MD, PhD, says in a news release.

"These 31 genes are the kingpins in what you could call an organized crime network of genes that enable the tumor to grow with breathtaking speed," says Bredel, who works at the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute at Northwestern University.

People with widespread mutations in those genes had worse survival than people with a lesser extent of mutations.

The second study shows that one particular gene, the ANXA7 gene, may make a good target for future treatments for glioblastomas, which are the most common type of glioma.

Glioblastoma survival appears to be worse in patients who only have one copy of the ANXA7 gene, instead of the usual two copies, according to the study.

The ANXA7 gene acts as a tumor-suppressing gene, and when only one copy of it is present, it may be easier for glioblastomas to grow, note the researchers, who included Ajay Yadav, PhD, of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute, along with Bredel and scientists from other institutions.

The ANXA7 gene findings could have "significant" meaning for future glioblastoma treatments; as more genetic discoveries about cancer are made the findings could "usher in a new era in cancer research," states an editorial published with the studies.

The editorialists included Boris Pasche, MD, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Pasche is also a contributing editor for The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Today on WebMD

doctor and patient
How to know when it’s time for home care
doctory with x-ray
Here are 10 to know.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
Malignant Gliomas
Pets Improve Your Health
Headache Emergencies
life after a brain tumor

Would you consider trying alternative or complementary therapies?