Some types of brain tumour are tested for gene changes. This is called testing for biomarkers or testing for molecular markers.

Genes are the instructions a cell needs to work properly. Every cell contains a set of genes. Sometimes the structure inside a gene is permanently changed, so the gene no longer gives the correct instructions.

It can be useful to know about gene changes in a brain tumour cell. If a tumour has certain genetic changes, this may give your doctor information about:

  • which treatment is most likely to be effective for you
  • how the brain tumour may develop.

Your doctor can tell you more about whether biomarker tests are helpful in your situation. This type of testing is done on a sample of tumour cells (biopsy). Some types of biomarker can be tested with a blood sample.

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