Shrinking Medulloblastomas Without Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for many cancers; however, the side effects can have huge consequences, especially on pediatric patients, who are still growing. In particular, children treated for medulloblastoma—the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor—have devastating lifelong side effects from chemotherapy. Less harmful treatments are needed. In a new study published in Nature Communications, scientists have discovered that inhibiting an epigenetic modifier protein called lysine...
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Implementing Molecular Profiling at Initial Diagnosis for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients With James M. Olson, MD, PhD

James M. Olson, MD, PhD

​Brain and spinal cord tumors are the second most common cancers in children, accounting for 1 out of 4 childhood cancers. Despite intensive treatment, children with histologically diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma, supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the central nervous system (CNS-PNET), and pineoblastoma (PBL) continue to have suboptimal outcomes. James M. Olson, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at University of Washington School of Medicine, and colleagues found that molecular profiling of patients with CNS-PNET/PBL revealed a significant proportion of patients were initially misdiagnosed and consequently overtreated and that other patients have a better prognosis than previously realized. i3 Health spoke with Dr. Olson about these findings and their implications for pediatric brain tumor practice.

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Faulty DNA Repair in Medulloblastomas and High-Grade Gliomas

Researchers have found that medulloblastomas and high-grade gliomas, two types of brain tumors, often exhibit frequent, complex rearrangements of the genome as a result of malfunctioning DNA repair. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) investigated the cause of chromothripsis, one of two "catastrophic genomic events" that cause genomic instability and are implicated in the development of cancer. In chromothripsis, tens to hundreds of clustered ...
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Medulloblastoma: New Genetic Marker Differentiates Risk

Researchers have identified a new genetic marker that can be used to determine which patients with medulloblastoma have high-risk tumors in need of aggressive treatment. "Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant childhood brain tumor, and it is important that we have improved outcomes for patients with this disease," commented Steve Clifford, PhD, Director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University and co-senior author of the study, which was published in Lancet On...
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