Doctors believe they may have found a new protein which could be a promising target for cancer treatment drugs in the future.
A team of scientists from the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona looked at the biological processes involved in the formation of glioblastoma - the most common variety of brain tumours and one of the most aggressive forms of all cancers.
They discovered that the USP15 protein is the one that initiates a chemical pathway that makes the tumour unrecognisable to the body's inherit immune system and thus allows it to grow.
Lead researcher Dr Joan Seoane explained "When we inhibited USP15 in a real model of human glioblastoma, [chemical pathway] activity decreased and the tumour did not develop. USP15 regulates tumour progression and is critical in cancer."
The doctors added that the USP15 protein could also be responsible for a number of other types of cancer including ovarian and breast.