Home » First comprehensive sequence analysis of childhood cancer provides new clues to brain tumor development
Medulloblastoma is the first pediatric cancer that has been sequenced
December 14, 2010 – Baylor College of Medicine
A genome-wide sequence analysis of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, revealed unexpected insights into the development of this cancer, including identification of frequent mutations in a family of genes not previously implicated in the disease, according to Baylor College of Medicine pediatric oncologist Dr. Donald Parsons and other researchers in a report that appears online in Science Express.
Their results show that medulloblastomas contain far fewer mutations than typical adult cancers, but that core genetic pathways regulating development of the brain and nervous system are predominantly targeted. These mutations are found most frequently in genes controlling histone methylation, a key process in gene regulation, providing a potential new avenue for research and disease management in medulloblastoma patients.
Medulloblastoma is the first pediatric cancer that has been sequenced, said Parsons, an assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM and a faculty member at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
Parsons pursued this research in collaboration with investigators at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.
To speak to a Johns Hopkins researcher, contact Vanessa Wasta, associate director, media relations and web projects, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, office phone, 410-614-2916; mobile, 410-736-1397 or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Parsons is available for interviews. To talk to him, contact Dana Benson at 713-798-4710 or email@example.com.