Navigation Links
Cancer researchers discover new type of retinoblastoma in babies

(TORONTO, Canada March 13, 2013) A team of Canadian and international cancer researchers led by Dr. Brenda Gallie at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network (UHN), has discovered a new type of retinoblastoma, a rapidly developing eye cancer that affects very young babies a finding that can immediately change clinical practice and optimize care for these children.

The finding, published online today in Lancet Oncology, is a breakthrough in recognizing that a single cancer gene (an oncogene) drives an aggressive retinoblastoma that starts long before birth in families with no history of the disease, says surgeon Dr. Gallie, an ophthalmologist who is also affiliated with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

"This research completely challenges conventional thinking and clinical practice," says Dr. Gallie. "The common type of retinoblastoma is initiated by damage to both copies of the RB1 tumor suppressor gene; the predisposition to this type of retinoblastoma can be inherited, so the other eye of the child and those of infant relatives are at risk to develop tumours. When we remove the eye with a large tumour in very young babies and show it is the new oncogene-driven type of retinoblastoma, there is believed to be zero risk for retinoblastoma developing in the other eye or in other infants in the family. This is a major advance in personalized cancer medicine for these children and families."

The oncogene-driven tumours are much larger than those anticipated in children with inherited retinoblastoma at the same age. "The earliest diagnosis comes when parents observe a white (instead of black) pupil of the eye, and the doctors listen to their observations and understand the urgency of referral. Sometimes Mom really does know best and clinicians should pay close attention."

Although less than 2% of unilateral retinoblastoma tumors are driven by the oncogene, the early age of onset predicts that about 1 in 5 babies diagnosed under six months of age actually has oncogene-driven retinoblastoma. "All the babies were completely cured by surgery," says Dr. Gallie.

"We've thought for a long time that all retinoblastoma were caused by loss of the retinoblastoma gene. Our study now reveals that's not the whole story: a new type of retinoblastoma, with normal retinoblastoma genes, is instead driven by extra copies of a powerful cancer gene, causing the cancer to grow very rapidly long before birth. The average age of diagnosis is four months."

This study, on which several clinical laboratories collaborated, demonstrates that molecular diagnostics can identify novel malignant diseases that elude traditional microscopic study of tissue. The researchers analysed more than 1,000 primary unilateral non-familial retinoblastoma tumours to validate oncogene-driven retinoblastoma. The Canadian research team included three UHN Research Institutes; Impact Genetics, Toronto; the B.C. Cancer Research Centre and University of British Columbia, Vancouver; the Cross Centre, Edmonton; The Hospital for Sick Children and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. The international collaborators were from the Netherlands, Germany, France and New Zealand.


Contact: Jane Finlayson
University Health Network

Related medicine news :

1. Many Ovarian Cancer Patients Denied By-the-Book Care, Study Says
2. Medicare Spending Not Linked to Longer Cancer Survival
3. Bitter melon juice prevents pancreatic cancer in mouse models
4. Penn study: Financial incentives affect prostate cancer treatment patterns
5. Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step
6. Lung Cancer Asbestos Victims Center Now Urges Families Of A Lung Cancer Victim To Ask If The Victims Was Exposed To Asbestos At Work And To Call them-If The Answer Is Yes
7. Dr. Gary McClain of Addresses Breast Cancer Support Group
8. Regenstrief and IU study investigates older adults views on cancer screening
9. Daily Aspirin Linked to Lower Risk for Deadly Skin Cancer in Women
10. Trio of biomarkers may help identify kidney cancer in early stages
11. Abdominal Chemo Bath May Extend Survival in Ovarian Cancer Patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Young patients with a wide variety of dental needs can now receive ... who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ . Unlike traditional treatment options that ... minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during treatment and the following recovery period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... DMG Productions announced that they will feature Aphria, Inc., in an upcoming episode ... and show times TBA. , Aphria, Inc., is a publicly traded company incorporated under ... medical marijuana pursuant to the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “MMPR”). , Aphria ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Bolier Reactor System. Brillouin is the developer of renewable energy technologies capable of ... nuclear reactions (“LENR”), announced today that its WET™ and HHT™ Boiler System reactor ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... American Family Care (AFC), the nation’s ... a holiday pop-up clinic located in Metro Atlanta’s North Point Mall. The clinic is ... different way. The location is scheduled to operate through Dec. 24. , Holiday Pop-Up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health ... Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living with morbid or extreme obesity. ... available to its members to help them make informed decisions about their healthcare ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" or the ... capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, ... China and the United States ... meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s shareholders voted ... the previously announced agreement and plan of merger (the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical ... in an effort to quickly uncover new insights, tactics ... --> --> However, organizations ... market research project and ensure that all rules and ... industry standards. Another major barrier to efficiently launching market ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics and GE Healthcare ... agreement for DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery NM750b Molecular ... signing of this distribution agreement will provide Dilon,s experienced ... Imaging system and is considered an initial step in ... solutions for clinicians and their patients. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: