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Key regulatory genes often amplified in aggressive childhood tumor of the brainstem
Date:9/19/2011

cle and cell division were also affected. About 30 percent of DIPGs contained extra copies of the genes that carry instructions for making the Cyclin D family of proteins or the cylin-dependent kinases CDK4 and CDK6.

Chemotherapy agents targeting both pathways are already used to treat other cancers. At St. Jude, a Phase I study is underway using the experimental drug crenolanib to block activity of the PDGFRA protein in DIPGs and related tumors.

When researchers compared gene activity in 27 DIPGs with results from other gliomas found outside the brainstem in both children and adults, they identified significant differences. Baker said those differences offer clues about where DIPGs begin and suggest the HOX family of genes might be involved. "We saw much higher expression of particular HOX gene family members in DIPGs compared to non-brainstem gliomas," she said. This gene family plays an important developmental role in a range of organisms.


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Contact: Carrie Strehlau
carrie.strehlau@stjude.org
901-595-2295
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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