The Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association (ANRA) is conferring its highest honor on pediatric oncologist Garrett M. Brodeur, M.D., of the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Brodeur will receive the ANRA Lifetime Achievement Award tomorrow at the association's international meeting in Cologne, Germany.
The Award singles out a researcher who has achieved worldwide scientific prominence in investigating neuroblastoma over the course of a career. Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor of childhood.
A cancer of the peripheral nervous system that typically appears as a tumor in a child's abdomen or chest, neuroblastoma varies greatly in severity, ranging from forms that spontaneously disappear to high-risk subtypes that are difficult to cure. Because of this variability, researchers have sought ways to predict the course of disease in order to select the most appropriate treatment for each patient.
Over his career, Brodeur has focused on identifying the genes, proteins and biological pathways that give rise to neuroblastoma and drive its clinical behavior. He also has built on this knowledge to develop more effective and less toxic treatments for children.
He first demonstrated in the 1980s that some neuroblastoma cells developed multiple copies of the MYCN gene, and this identified a high-risk subtype of neuroblastoma, necessitating more aggressive treatment. This discovery ushered in the current era of genomic analysis of tumors, both in adult and pediatric oncology. Profiling specific molecular alterations in a given patient's tumor helps guide oncologists toward the most appropriate treatment.
Brodeur and colleagues also discovered important neuroblastoma-related genetic changes, such as deletion of the short arm of chromosome 1 and loss of the CHD5 tumor suppressor gene. He collaborated with other CHOP researchers who identified the ALK gene as the gene responsible for
|Contact: Ashley Moore|
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia