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Stem Cells Found In Cerebellum; Possible Cell of Origin for Childhood Brain Tumors

cerous growth, said Lee. Other research teams have shown that certain genes are mutated in medulloblastoma, but it has not been clear in which particular cells these genes are mutated.

The Duke team hopes to develop animal models in which they alter genes in neural stem cells and determine whether these alterations give rise to tumors. The goal is to identify the most crucial genes involved in medulloblastoma, and then develop drugs to disrupt these genes, said Wechsler-Reya.

"If we found a gene specific to tumor cells, we could develop an agent to shut down its activity without disrupting the growth of normal cells," he said. "Chemotherapy targets all dividing cells ?not just those involved in cancer ?so it is highly toxic. Our hope is to provide the basis for less toxic, more targeted therapies."


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Source:Duke Health


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