Doctors are aware that patients with gliomas, a type of brain tumor, often experience symptoms of the tumors for many months prior to tumor discovery. Recently, researchers discovered that these cancers may show up as changes in immune functions as early as five years prior to symptom development.

The study on Cancer

Samples that had been collected for forty years when people were getting check-ups, donating blood, and from the cancer registry in Norway, were used to base the data for this research.

The researchers compared the actions and interactions that occurred between twelve allergy related proteins found in the blood. These allergies related proteins are known as cytokines.

For the purpose of the study, the researchers looked at the cytokine interactions in four hundred and eighty seven people with known diagnosis of glioma, and four hundred and eighty seven people who did not have diagnosed cancer.

The results

Through the examination of the blood samples the researchers discovered that gliomas have the ability to create detectable changes in the immune systems of patients who were going to develop this form of brain cancer many years before the symptoms or diagnosis of the cancer.

Doctors have been aware that this type of brain cancer could suppress the immune system. The suppression of the immune system is what allows the gliomas to be able to grow and thrive in the human brain. Doctors did not know that as many as five years prior to tumor development the blood might show immune system changes that were happening.

The researchers saw a weakening of the cytokines begin in the patients who were going to develop the gliomas within the next five years.

What this means

A new series of blood tests and evaluation of blood can be established so that doctors can detect more cases of this type of brain tumor at its earliest stage of development. The cure rate for this cancer would become astronomically high if it was detected before the tumor was capable of beginning to form.

Currently sixty percent of the adults who develop brain cancer have gliomas. As many as five people out of every one hundred thousand people in the United States are diagnosed with gliomas. The majority of patients with a diagnosis of gliomas do not survive more than five years from the time of detection.

Treatment for this type of brain cancer includes radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments that take approximately one year to complete. The patients with this cancer have a hard fight in front of them from the time of tumor discovery, and their quality, as well as quantity of life, is greatly affected by the cancer tumor and the treatments used to help control the tumor.

The earlier, a cancer is detected the greater the odds are that the patient can have full remission.