Navigation Links
Gene Research Brings Insight Into Deadly Childhood Brain Tumor
Date:12/16/2010

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. scientists have unraveled the genetic code for the most common type of brain cancer in children.

Gene sequencing reveals that this tumor, medulloblastoma, or MB, possesses far fewer genetic abnormalities than comparable adult tumors.

The discovery that MB has five to 10 times fewer mutations than solid adult tumors could further attempts to understand what triggers the cancer and which treatment is most effective.

"The good news here is that for the first time now we've identified the broken genetic pieces in a pediatric cancer, and found that with MD there are only a few broken parts," said lead author Dr. Victor E. Velculescu, associate professor with the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

"And that means it's potentially easier to intervene and to stop it," he said, likening the cancer to a train that's speeding out of control.

Velculescu and his colleagues, who report their findings in the Dec. 16 online issue of Science, say this is the first time genetic decoding has been applied to a non-adult cancer.

Each year this cancer strikes about 1 in every 200,000 children younger than 15 years old. Before migrating through the patient's central nervous system, MBs begin in the cerebellum portion of the brain that is responsible for controlling balance and complicated motor function.

Focusing on 88 childhood tumors, the research team uncovered 225 tumor-specific mutations in the MB samples, many fewer than the number found in adult tumors. This surprised the researchers, given that prior work had not suggested a large genetic difference between childhood and adult malignancies.

The discovery could help improve the way MB is classified and treated. "We now have the pieces of the puzzle which are altered in this particular tumor type," noted Velculescu. "And what we have to do is figure out how these pieces can be put together and come up with new avenues for targeted therapies that take advantage of these differences."

At least one expert, Dr. Isabelle M. Germano, director of the brain tumor treatment program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, agrees that the finding gives researchers a new leg up on a killer disease.

"Theoretically this study -- which postulates that because there are fewer mutations it might be easier to target those mutations -- could raise hope for finding a more successful way of dealing with MB," Germano said.

"So this is an improvement in our understanding of what we're dealing with. And once we understand better the mechanisms at the base of this illness, it becomes more possible to develop treatment options ... or, if possible, even prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

While not a common disease, MB accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all primary tumors among children, Germano said. "And outcomes have actually been improving as we come to know more about it, with five-year survival around 80 percent for patients older than 3.

"But for infants [the five-year survival rate] is just 30 percent," she said. "So at the present time mortality can be pretty high."

More information

For more on medulloblastoma, visit the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

SOURCES: Victor E. Velculescu, M.D, Ph.D., cancer researcher and associate professor, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Mount SinaiIsabelle M. Germano, M.D., professor of neurosurgery and director, brain tumor program, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, N.Y.; Dec. 16, 2010, Science, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Embedded Mobile & M2M Device revenues to Rise to Almost $19 Billion Globally by 2014, Says Juniper Research
2. 2010 HSR Impact Award recognizes surgical safety research
3. MSU launches first anti-counterfeiting research program
4. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
5. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
6. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
7. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
8. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
9. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
10. International Diabetes Federation awards $2 million to 9 global diabetes research projects
11. Gladstones Robert Mahley to receive Research!America advocacy award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Gene Research Brings Insight Into Deadly Childhood Brain Tumor
(Date:6/25/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial ... Plant City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the ... closing for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg ... Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among ... Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across ... in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their ... award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market for ... report includes the following: , World IVD ... (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD Companion ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June ... MKT: VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... of Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June ... Company,s Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  ... Dr. Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: