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Voices Against Brain Cancer Comments on New Discovery That May Help MDs Diagnose and Treat Certain Pediatric Brain Tumors
Date:5/3/2013

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 Sciencedaily.com 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 spe
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