Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More accurate diagnosis for leading cancer killer in children may be possible

Date:
January 13, 2010
Source:
University of Utah Health Sciences
Summary:
Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children. Now a more accurate diagnosis of childhood brain cancers may soon be possible.

Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children. Now a more accurate diagnosis of childhood brain cancers may soon be possible, according to researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. The information is published online January 12 in the journal Cancer Research.

"Researchers already know cancerous tumors often lack certain copies of genes. They also know certain cancer-promoting genes are mutated in cancer patients," says Joshua Schiffman, M.D., an HCI investigator. "But what's significant about this new research is that we've shown these two events occur simultaneously in a unique set of pediatric brain tumors ― a finding previously unknown in these pediatric patients."

Schiffman, along with researchers from several other institutions including Stanford, Washington University, and UCSF, studied the tumors of pediatric brain cancer patients. Brain tumors are typically classified into grades 1-4 at the time of diagnosis based on their appearance under the microscope. Schiffman and colleagues studied samples from each brain tumor grade using new technology to detect either missing copies or extra copies of DNA. They also looked for mutations, or changes, in the DNA from the same brain tumor samples that can cause improper functioning of genes resulting in cancer. Researchers discovered genetic differences in the different tumor grades that may help explain tumor development and could lead to more accurate diagnosis and categorization of patients. While more research is needed, Schiffman believes these findings can eventually lead to more targeted and individualized treatments.

The research focuses on BRAF, a gene known to be commonly affected in low-grade brain tumors called astrocytomas. Researchers studied more than 40 of these pediatric astrocytomas ― the most common form of brain cancer in children ― and found that five out of seven grade 2-4 astrocytomas with BRAF mutations occurred in combination with a deletion in CDKN2A, another gene associated with cancer. The findings suggest these combined alterations define a subset of pediatric malignant astrocytomas.

According to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, every day, nine children in the U.S. are diagnosed with a brain tumor. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death from childhood cancer, accounting for 24 percent of cancer-related deaths. Pediatric brain tumors are different from those in adults and are often treated differently.

"A lot of progress has been made in our understanding of adult brain cancers, but we don't know as much about the genetics of pediatric brain cancers, which are the number one cancer killer of children," says Schiffman. "This information sheds new light in an area where little information was known. The ability to recognize unique subsets of tumors based on their genetic make-up could someday lead the way to more individualized treatments for pediatric brain cancers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Utah Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Utah Health Sciences. "More accurate diagnosis for leading cancer killer in children may be possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112191620.htm>.
University of Utah Health Sciences. (2010, January 13). More accurate diagnosis for leading cancer killer in children may be possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112191620.htm
University of Utah Health Sciences. "More accurate diagnosis for leading cancer killer in children may be possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112191620.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