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Cancer Channel
Reported April 8, 2014

New Drug Targets in Pediatric Brain Tumors?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Scientists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and McGill University have found several molecular alterations that drive cancer while studying a rare, deadly brain tumor in children.

The findings could help physicians choose new targets for drug treatments with a better chance of fighting pediatric high-grade astrocytomas, a type of brain cancer that is difficult to treat. For the study, the scientists took tumor biopsy samples and identified a number of mutations or errors in the DNA code. They also found epigenetic changes, which alter how genes are expressed.

“For the most malignant tumor in pediatrics, we finally are beginning to gain a handle on the development of this disease, which is critical to devising effective therapies,” co-senior author Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, a neuro-oncologist and clinical director of the Brain Tumor Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's was quoted as saying.

For more information, go to: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.2950.html

SOURCE: Nature Genetics, April 2014

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