New Publication from Dr. Phedias Diamandis
MBP researcher Dr. Phedias Diamandis has published a new BMC Medicine article entitled 'Consumer-grade electroencephalography devices as potential tools for early detection of brain tumors'.
Diffuse gliomas, such as glioblastoma (GBM), represent the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer with an unfortunate dearth of treatment advances despite decades of ongoing research. Perhaps one of the most successful paradigms in cancer management has been early detection programs that aim to dramatically improve outcomes by providing an earlier window for intervention. Indeed, early screening has reduced deaths and improved outcomes of many cancer types (e.g., colon, breast, cervical) when the disease can be detected prior to distant spread. In support of this paradigm in neuro-oncology, the achievement of gross total surgical resection in younger patients with GBM shows favorable outcomes compared to instances where only incomplete resection is possible (37.3 vs. 16.5 months). Therefore, if gliomas could be detected earlier in their evolution, while remaining potentially more localized, it could also offer the possibility to better maximize the extent of safe surgical resection and favorable outcomes.
Despite this prospect, the aggressive biology and low incidence of gliomas make them poor candidates for conventional screening strategies. Case reports of serial neuro-imaging studies of GBM, with scans taken as few as 68 days apart, show that even small cortical lesions can rapidly evolve into established disease within a very short clinical time frame (< 3 months). This short interval in evolution means that potentially effective screening programs would require assessments every 2–3 months to allow detection of incipient lesions. This, combined with its low incidence (3–4/100,000 people), makes radiographic or other annually administered screening approaches for gliomas impractical.