Molecular characterisation of malignant progression in adult low-grade glioma (LGG)

In adults, low grade gliomas (LGGs) will inevitably undergo malignant transformation at variable and unpredictable points in their natural history, leading to severe disability and death.

At present, there are no reliable markers, which can predict the timing of this malignant progression.

We are undertaking a comprehensive molecular characterisation of a cohort of LGG from patients with detailed clinical follow-up to determine whether there are genetic and cellular correlates of tumour behaviour.

Reliable molecular markers that predict the rate of malignant transformation will allow us to identify more aggressive tumours early on and thereby treat the patient at an earlier stage than we would otherwise have done.

This would reduce neurological disability and improve quality of life and possibly overall survival. Novel genomic gains detected by aCGH and Q-PCR will be further characterised using siRNA interference in in vitro cell cultures in order to elucidate genomic mechanisms through which these tumours initially develop and determine their potential as therapeutic targets.