Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells

Date:
January 11, 2010
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
New research shows how the most common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells. Scientists know relatively little about medulloblastomas or why some cases respond better to treatments than others. A new study reveals that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell and that these cancers are a distinct form of the disease which may require a completely different approach to treatment.

New research from scientists at Queen Mary, University of London shows how the most common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells.

Scientists know relatively little about medulloblastomas or why some cases respond better to treatments than others.

The new research, published in the journal Oncogene, shows that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell and that these cancers are a distinct form of the disease which may require a completely different approach to treatment.

Medulloblastomas account for one in five of all children's brain tumours. They are most common in children between the ages of three and eight but they can also affect young adults.

Silvia Marino, Professor of Neuropathology at Queen Mary, University of London, led the study. She said: "This type of brain tumour can pose a great challenge to doctors. In some children, treatment works well but in others the cancer is aggressive and far harder to treat.

"As scientists we've been trying to understand how these cancers which look the same can behave so differently.

"This study is a major advance for us because it shows for the first time that some of these tumours develop from endogenous stem cells.

"This is important for two reasons. First, it could help us to tell which cancers will respond well to treatment and which will need a more aggressive therapy. Second, this new understanding could help us to find much-needed new drugs for the disease."

Previous research has shown that human brains contain a small number of stem cells -- called neural stem cells -- which enable the brain to repair itself to some degree. Professor Marino and her team studied equivalent cells taken from mouse brains.

They found that two particular genes called Rb and p53, which are already known to play a role in cancer, could malfunction in these cells and allow the cells to grow uncontrollably. They also found that in mice, these cells turned into medulloblastomas.

The researchers then looked more closely at the genetic makeup of these tumours and found a particular pattern which they compared with tumours taken from patients with medulloblastomas. They found that patients whose tumours also had this genetic pattern were those with the worst survival chances.

The researchers believe that their findings are a crucial first step in understanding the most aggressive form of this disease. They can now begin to look for new ways to tackle the disease in a more effective and possibly less toxic way.

This work was supported by grants from Cancer Research UK, Ali's Dream and Charlie's Challenge Charities as well as St Bartholomew's Charitable Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sutter et al. Cerebellar stem cells act as medulloblastoma-initiating cells in a mouse model and a neural stem cell signature characterizes a subset of human medulloblastomas. Oncogene, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/onc.2009.472

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "How common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111091224.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2010, January 11). How common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111091224.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "How common type of children's brain cancer can arise from stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111091224.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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