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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Kentucky Develops Web-Based Program for Brain Tumor Cases

Two University of Kentucky College of Public Health faculty members were part of a team that developed a new web-based program designed to provide a simple way for health care providers to determine whether a brain tumor case requires testing for a genetic mutation.  Dr. Li Chen and Dr. Eric Durbin, of the biostatistics department, worked with fellow UK Markey Cancer Center researcher, Dr. Craig Horbinski, to craft a program that uses a statistical model to predict with accuracy the likelihood a patient carries a gene, known as an IDH1 mutation. Patients who carry the IDH1 mutation tend to survive years longer than brain tumor patients who do not carry it.

Under the model, health care providers answer four questions and the program predicts whether the patient has the mutation and requires screening.  Previously, testing for the mutation has often only been done after surgery to remove the tumor has been performed, and insurance pre-approvals for the testing are often stringent.  The new web-based program will provide health care professionals with a rationale for performing IDH1 screening, while also conserving research dollars by helping researchers better decide which tumors require testing.

For more information on the web-based application, please see the full story at