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Genetics of children's brain tumor unlocked
Date:5/18/2010

ound to have associated genes switched on, suggesting that this biological pathway is a key to the development of this childhood cancer. The PDGFRA gene carries instructions for making a protein found on the cell surface, which is part of a pathway that helps control cell growth, proliferation and survival processes that are commonly disrupted in cancer.

"This cancer gene is unusually active in paediatric high-grade gliomas and is likely to be an important drug target," said Professor Richard Grundy from the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre at The University of Nottingham.

In addition, 10 children in the study had glioma that arose after they were treated with radiotherapy to the brain for a previous cancer. Analysis of these children's tumours revealed they had the gene alterations at even higher frequency than the other cancers studied, which had been triggered by other factors. The presence of these alterations irrespective of the trigger for the cancer also indicates that they are crucial to glioma development.

High grade gliomas account for about 75 to 80 per cent of primary malignant brain tumours cancer that originates in the brain. In the UK, about 4,550 adults and 350 children are diagnosed with brain tumours each year. Gliomas are the most common brain tumour in children, and aggressive gliomas can be very difficult to treat successfully 70 to 90 per cent of patients die within two years of diagnosis.


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Contact: Professor Richard Grundy
richard.grundy@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-823-0620
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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