News on meningioma research from our Plymouth Centre

2 min read

Professor Oliver Hanemann and the research team at our University of Plymouth centre have just had published a new paper in  the respected journal EBioMedicine, which can be accessed via the Science Direct website here

Meningiomas are the most common primary intracranial tumours. They are classified as grade I, II, and III based on their histopathological (information on tissues and/or cells found by examination under a microscope) features.

While most meningiomas can be managed by surgery, secondary drug treatment may be required in cases of recurrent or high-grade tumours.

To date, chemotherapy has proven ineffective in meningioma patients, so there is a clear need both for new therapeutic targets and for novel molecular biomarkers (biomarkers are what indicate the presence of disease)

The paper’s title is “GATA-4, a potential novel therapeutic target for high-grade meningioma, regulates miR-497, a potential novel circulating biomarker for high-grade meningioma.”

Using meningioma tissues and in vitro (in glass) models, the Plymouth team investigated microRNA levels in meningioma samples of different grades, as well as their regulation (the way they responded to different stimulus).

Based on this, it also investigated microRNAs expression in serum (basically blood without any clotting agents), and their potential as biomarkers.

Data contained in the paper suggests that GATA-4 (a binding protein involved in regulating gene expression) that has been found to be greater in  malignant meningioma is a novel potential therapeutic target for high-grade meningioma, and regulates miR-497 (an RNA gene), a potential novel circulating, non-invasive biomarker for high-grade meningioma.

Understanding of meningioma at the discovery science level is the starting point before clinical trials can begin from which new therapeutics can be developed.

Prof Hanemann said: “I am very pleased that this work has now been published – there is a clear need for better therapeutic options for high grade meningioma patients and this research marks a step in the right direction to better understanding the disease and how we can improve outcomes for patients.”

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