Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New hope for diagnosis and treatment of intractable pediatric brain tumors

Date:
December 11, 2009
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Scientists have discovered oncogenes capable of driving growth of normal human brain stem cells in a highly malignant pediatric brain tumor. The research has significant implications for clinical management of aggressive pediatric brain tumors that are notorious for their dismal prognosis.

Scientists have discovered oncogenes capable of driving growth of normal human brain stem cells in a highly malignant pediatric brain tumor. The research, published by Cell Press in the December issue of the journal Cancer Cell, has significant implications for clinical management of aggressive pediatric brain tumors that are notorious for their dismal prognosis.

Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) arise from undifferentiated brain cells and are the most frequent malignant brain tumors in children. There are different forms of PNETs and, while scientists have made progress in characterizing the genetic abnormalities associated with some PNET subtypes, the highly aggressive cerebral tumors known as CNS-PNETs have been difficult to characterize as they represent a relatively uncommon group of tumors with ill-defined diagnostic features.

"Lack of insight into the molecular pathogenesis of CNS-PNET is a major obstacle towards development of disease-specific models and treatments for these frequently fatal malignancies," explains senior study author, Dr. Annie Huang from the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada. To comprehensively define relevant genetic alterations associated with CNS-PNET, Dr. Huang established international collaborations with colleagues from pediatric oncology centers in Asia, Europe and the United States to complete a sophisticated high resolution genomic screen of a large collection of primary tumors.

The researchers discovered that a specific DNA segment which contains a group of 54 microRNA (miRNA) genes, (C19MC), was present in many copies in aggressive CNS-PNET tumor cells. MiRNAs are a recently discovered class of small RNA molecules that normally has the capacity to regulate expression of hundreds of genes in a normal cell. Abnormally high or low activity of miRNA genes are now increasingly known to promote cancer growth and may characterize specific tumor types and predict clinical behavior.

The researchers showed that specific miRNAs from the C19MC group, which were highly expressed in CNS-PNET cells, could stimulate growth and prevent development of normal human neural stem cells into more mature types of brain cells. The researchers went on to show that C19MC miRNA oncogenes may confer aggressive tumor phenotype by altering signaling pathways that regulate normal neural stem cell growth.

"Our findings highlight C19MC as an attractive candidate biomarker and therapeutic target for aggressive pediatric brain tumors and support an emerging theme that miRNAs are important determinants of tumor biology," concludes Dr. Huang. "Together with recent reports which implicate C19MC miRNAs in aggressive primary breast cancer, our findings suggest activation of the C19MC locus may generally define aggressive human tumors."

The researchers include Meihua Li, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Kyle F. Lee, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Yuntao Lu, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, Nanfang Hospital, Guangzhou, China; Ian Clarke, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; David Shih, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Charles Eberhart, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; V. Peter Collins, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK;


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "New hope for diagnosis and treatment of intractable pediatric brain tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123103.htm>.
Cell Press. (2009, December 11). New hope for diagnosis and treatment of intractable pediatric brain tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123103.htm
Cell Press. "New hope for diagnosis and treatment of intractable pediatric brain tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091207123103.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins