Medical Breakthroughs Reported by Ivanhoe.com. Click here to go to the homepage.
Be the First to Know. Click here to subscribe FREE!
Search Reports: Use quotation marks around your multi-word search terms in the box below to perform search of Ivanhoe.com.
Advances in health and medicine.Use " marks around search terms
 
What's New
News Flash
Discussion
healthchannelnews
  Alternative Health
Arthritis
Asthma & Allergies
Autism
Breast Cancer
Cancer
Cardiovascular Health
Children's Health
Dental Health
Diabetes
Fertility & Pregnancy
Men's Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Neurological Disorders
Nutrition & Wellness
Orthopedics
Pet Health
Robotics
Seniors' Health
Sports Medicine
Vision
Women's Health
Advances in health and medicine.
Click here to sign up for Medical Alerts!
Click below to access other news from Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
  Click here to get Ivanhoe's Medical Headline RSS feed Click here to listen to Ivanhoe's Medical Podcasts
Useful Links
Play It Again, Please
E-Mail a Friend
Order Books Online
Inside Science
Smart Woman
Advances in health and medicine.
Smart Woman Home
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Click here to read the story
Smart Woman Home
Advances in health and medicine.
Click below to learn about Ivanhoe.
  Awards
About Us
Contact Us
Employment
Feedback
Ivanhoe FAQ
Our TV Partners
Travel Calendar
Advances in health and medicine.
Ivanhoe celebrates 20 years of medical news reporting reaching nearly 80 million TV households each week. Click here to learn more...
Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Publisher/President
Advances in health and medicine.
Advertisement
Children's Health Channel
Reported December 27, 2012

What is Causing Brain Tumors In Kids?

 

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Tumors are masses of abnormal cells that grow out of control. When these tumors originate in the brain, they can be very complicated to treat because of the delicate surrounding tissue. While all brain tumors are life-threatening, most children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with one survive into adulthood. Many of them face physical, psychological, social and intellectual challenges related to their treatment, and require ongoing care to help with school and with skills they will use throughout adulthood. 
 
Insights from a genetic condition that causes brain cancer are helping scientists better understand the most common type of brain tumor in children. 
Scientists have shown that in certain cells, this protein can cause the cells to proliferate rapidly, 
 
In new research, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a cell growth pathway that is unusually active in pediatric brain tumors known as gliomas. They previously identified the same growth pathway as a critical contributor to brain tumor formation and growth in neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1), an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome.
 
“This suggests that the tools we’ve been developing to diagnose and treat NF1 may also be helpful for sporadic brain tumors,” senior author David H. Gutmann, MD, PhD, the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology was quoted saying.
 
NF1 is among the most common tumor predisposition syndromes, but it accounts for only about 15 percent of pediatric low-grade gliomas known as pilocytic astrocytomas. The majority of these brain tumors occur sporadically in people without NF1. 
 
Earlier research showed that most sporadic pilocytic astrocytomas possess an abnormal form of a signaling protein known as BRAF. In tumor cells, a piece of another protein is erroneously fused to the business end of BRAF. Scientists suspected that the odd protein fusion spurred cells to grow and divide more often, leading to tumors. However, when they gave mice the same aberrant form of BRAF, they observed a variety of results. Sometimes gliomas formed, but in other cases, there was no discernible effect or a brief period of increased growth and cell division. In other studies, the cells grew old and died prematurely. 
 
Gutmann, director of the Washington University Neurofibromatosis Center, previously showed that mouse NF1-associated gliomas arise from certain brain cells.  According to Gutmann, the impact of abnormal NF1 gene function on particular cell types helps explain why gliomas are most often found in the optic nerves and brainstem of children with NF1, these areas are where the susceptible cell types reside. 
 
With that in mind, Gutmann and his colleagues tested the effects of the unusual fusion BRAF protein in neural stem cells from the cerebellum, where sporadic pilocytic astrocytomas often form, and in cells from the cortex, where the tumors almost never develop. 
 
“Abnormal BRAF only results in increased growth when it is placed in neural stem cells from the cerebellum, but not the cortex. We also found that putting fusion BRAF into mature glial cells from the cerebellum had no effect,” Gutmann was quoted saying.
 
When fusion BRAF causes increased cell proliferation, postdoctoral fellows Aparna Kaul, PhD and Yi-Hsien Chen, PhD, showed that it activates the same cellular growth pathway, called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), that is normally also controlled by the NF1 protein. An extensive body of research into the mTOR pathway already exists, including potential treatments to suppress its function in other forms of cancer.
 
“We may be able to leverage these insights and our previous work in NF1 to improve the treatment of these common pediatric brain tumors, and that’s very exciting,” Gutmann concluded.
 
Gutmann and his colleagues are now working to identify more of the factors that make particular brain cells vulnerable to the tumor-promoting effects of the NF1 gene mutation and fusion BRAF. They are also developing animal models of sporadic pilocytic astrocytoma for drug discovery and testing.
 
Source: Genes and Development, December 2012
 
 
Related Articles in Latest Medical News:

[ Back to Children's Health Channel Home ]

MEDICAL ALERT!
Stay up to date on Children's Health. We can notify you every time there is a medical breakthrough. Click here to sign up.
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Most Recent Videos

Follow Us On:

Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Twitter page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's Facebook page Click here to go to Ivanhoe's YouTube page
Advertisement

Laughter is the Best Medicine! To post a joke or saying, click here!

Home | What's New | News Flash | Search/Latest Medical News | E-Mail Medical Alerts!
Ivanhoe FAQ | Privacy Policy | Our TV Partners | Awards | Useful Links | Play It Again, Please
RSS Feeds | Advertising/Sponsorships | Content Syndication | Reprints

Advances in health and medicine.
webdoctor@ivanhoe.com
Copyright © 2014 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
2745 West Fairbanks Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 740-0789

P.O. Box 865
Orlando, Florida 32802

Premium Content in Latest Medical News Denotes Premium Content in Latest Medical News