New targets for the treatment of glioblastoma, an aggressive tumor with few therapeutic options

Researchers from Lleida discover the role of a type of calcium channel in the progression and recurrence of the tumor

Glioblastoma is a brain tumor of serious prognosis, with a high recurrence and resistant to therapeutic treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Recent research by the Calcium Signaling Group of the University of Lleida (UdL) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida) have addressed new strategies for its treatment. The research has recently been published in the prestigious journal Cancer Research.

The study has shown that the calcium channel Cav3.1 plays an important role in the resistance of this tumor to the drug that is administered to patients and, therefore, in the recurrence of the tumor. The calcium channels regulate the proliferation and survival capacity of the cells. The discovery of the role of this channel can provide a way to fight chemotherapeutic resistance by inhibiting the tumor.

"Although much remains to be understood about the mechanisms involved in the function of these channels in cancer cells, this finding could contribute to the development of new strategies for the treatment of this tumor," said one of the researchers and professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lleida (UdL), Judit Herreros. "Unfortunately, scientific advances in glioblastoma and other rare cancers do not occur to the same extent as in neoplasms more present in our society, and therefore we need to reinforce research in these diseases," said Herreros.

The Calcium Signaling Group, led by Judit Herreros and Carles Cantí, professors of the UdL and researchers of the IRBLleida, studies the adaptive mechanisms that develop the glioblastoma cells in the tumor progression. The research has been funded by the Carlos III Health Institute (project PI13 / 01980) with the collaboration of the IRBLleida Biobank, the Biobanks Platform (PT17 / 0015/0027), the National Biobank Network and has had the work of the researchers in formation Marta Crespí Sallán and Anna Visa Pretel.

Reference article: T-type Cav3.1 channels mediate progression and chemotherapeutic resistance in glioblastoma. Anna Visa, Marta C Sallán, Oscar Maiques, Lía Alza, Elisabet Talavera, Ricard López-Ortega, Maria Santacana, Judit Herreros and Carles Cantí. Cancer Res February 12 2019 DOI: 10.1158 / 0008-5472.CAN-18-1924