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Voices Against Brain Cancer Comments on New Discovery That May Help MDs Diagnose and Treat Certain Pediatric Brain Tumors

New York, NY (PRWEB) May 03, 2013

On May 3, Voices Against Brain Cancer (VABC), an organization dedicated to brain tumor research and advocacy, comments on an article discussing a new finding that may help doctors in classifying and treating certain pediatric brain tumors.

According to the article, a type of low-grade but sometimes lethal pediatric brain tumor has been found in many cases to contain “an unusual mutation that may help to classify, diagnose and guide the treatment of tumors.”

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute led a study of pediatric diffuse low-grade gliomas, which, according to the article, are the most common type of pediatric brain tumors and are diagnosed in about 1,000 young patients annually in the United States. They are generally slow-growing but can behave erratically, making them life-threatening.

The article reports that researchers focused on this type of brain tumor because despite lacking a tumor mass, they spread throughout the brain. They often reappear post-surgery and are much more likely to progress into lethal glioblastomas than non-diffuse low-grade tumors.

Researchers analyzed DNA from 45 tissue samples collected from seven institutions. They looked for mutations caused by “extra or missing copies of DNA code in the tumor genomes.”

A gene called MYBL1, a “transcription factor important for controlling other genes, was rearranged and missing a part of its genetic message in nearly 30 percent of the diffuse tumors. The mutated version of MYBL1 was shown to cause tumors in mice.”

Lori Ramkissoon, PhD and co-first author of the study said, “It gives us something to follow up on and investigate the function of this gene. It may lead to a specific test for diagnosing these tumors, and we will also try to determine whether these patients who have this mutation do better or worse than those lacking the mutation.”

Michael Klipper, chairman of Voices Against Brain Cancer, an organization dedicated to the research and advocacy of brain tumors, is hopeful after hearing this discovery. “This new finding is just another step closer to scientists making a breakthrough in brain cancer research. It makes us hopeful to know that experts are working their hardest every day to find a cure to this terrible disease.”

VABC has a wide variety of initiatives in place for brain cancer research, awareness and support. The organization’s research grants fund cutting-edge research programs that will have a monumental impact on the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. VABC currently funds research at several esteemed institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, John Hopkins, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Yale, to name a few.

VABC's mission is to find a cure for brain cancer by advancing scientific research, increasing awareness within the medical community and supporting patients, their families and caregivers afflicted with this devastating disease.

For press inquiries, please contact: 5W Public Relations.


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