New Approach – Diagnosis using molecular profiling
Molecular profiling is a much more sophisticated way of studying brain tumours. This process enables the unique biological and genetic markers of the cancer cells to be identified. This information can be used to supplement the study of the tissue under the microscope and enable a more precise diagnosis.
Molecular profiling was initially only used for research purposes, however this is now becoming the gold standard for the diagnosis of all brain tumours around the world.
Molecular profiling allows for a more precise diagnosis
Molecular profiling has enabled researchers to better understand the molecular basis of different types of PNETs. As a result, doctors can identify exactly which type of PNET a tumour is, or whether it is in fact a PNET at all.
When the diagnosis is done through molecular profiling, it is likely to be much more precise. Rather than just being given a diagnosis of PNET, the diagnosis is likely to identify exactly which type of PNET. Based on the 2016 World Health Guidelines, the diagnosis would be CNS, Embryonal Tumour, with the particular sub-type identified.
It is possible that molecular profiling may identify a tumour initially thought to be a PNET as being more like another tumour group, such as an ependymoma or glioblastoma. Therefore it is possible for an initial diagnosis of PNET to be given under the microscope, but changed to a different and more accurate diagnosis after molecular profiling.
The more accurate the diagnosis of the tumour, the greater the chance of identifying the most effective treatment option.
Molecular profiling is good news for PNETs!
By enabling a more precise diagnosis, doctors can offer more precise treatment options, better suited to fighting the true pathology of the tumour.