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Potential Brain Cancer Drug for Children May Damage Bones
Date:3/10/2008

ole for HhAntag as a treatment for medulloblastoma. "The effects we see in mice may be less dramatic in children, and there may be methods of delivering this drug directly to brain tissue, while avoiding bones. Alternatively, we might discover other drugs that act on the hedgehog pathway but selectively target brain tissue." Another approach, he adds, may be to use HhAntag only in older children who have already completed their growth, or in the admittedly small proportion of medulloblastoma patients who are adults.

"Signal transduction inhibitors such as this drug may still prove beneficial in treating children's cancers, but our findings raise questions about possible adverse effects during childhood development," said Curran.

The National Institutes of Health supported the study. The biotech company Genentech provided supplies of the drug used in the research. Curran's co-authors were Hiromichi Kimura, formerly of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; and Jessica M.Y. Ng, of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

Contact: John Ascenzi

Phone: (267) 426-6055


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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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