Researchers looking to slow deadly brain tumors find a silver lining from COVID-19

Finding ways to slow deadly brain tumors
Finding ways to slow deadly brain tumors(25 News Now)
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 11:34 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Scientists looking for ways to slow deadly brain tumors might have found some answers from COVID-19.

The Velpula Lab with the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria shut down in May 2020 because of the pandemic. That time was used to study an element of the COVID-19 spike protein, Galectin-3, that looked a lot like Galectin-1, which is often found in huge quantities from patients with glioblastoma.

The lab has been conducting experiments ever since, said Dr. Kiran Velpula, the lab’s director.

“For the first time, I saw multiple activities or multiple facets of the tumor could be controlled.  But in reality, are we there yet? No. It takes some time.”

Glioblastoma is the most common brain tumor in adults. The average life expectancy for a glio patient is 14 months.

Tuesday on 25 News at 10 p.m., Tyler Lopez talks to a young mother who just lost her husband to glio, and he’ll look closer at the encouraging signs from the Velpula lab.