US Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts died in August 2009, only 15 months after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. To researchers who study gliomas, Kennedy's case is all too common. Most of these tumors are aggressive, but the real frustration is that only a fraction of patients will respond favorably to treatment, as many of these malignancies are also resistant to most therapies. Even if they could tell whether a patient would respond, most clinicians would not be able to suggest an alternate therapy because so few treatments exist.

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