Scientists from the University of Florida have made great strides in the fight against sophisticated forms of brain cancer in children, namely, medulloblastoma.
Medulloblastoma - the most common zlokachestrvennaya brain tumor in young children. But no specific or effective treatment for this dangerous disease does not exist yet. Doctors are forced to resort to intensive and invasive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which severely affects the health of the child.
One of the reasons for the development of medulloblastoma, which is divided into four sub-groups, a mutation in the "genes drivers" that either inhibit or promote tumor growth. These mutations can be inherited, sporadic, or caused by the environment. Once they appear, they increase the risk of abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, which leads to the development of malignant tumors.
A team of researchers from Florida State University decided to find out more about these mutations. Using data from the Catalog of Somatic Mutations in Cancer, they identified a series of mutations in genes of drivers that cause cancer, and found that medulloblastoma is perhaps even more dynamic and changeable tumors than previously thought.
A new study published in the «Journal of Cancer» magazine.
Using innovative tools of bioinformatics, the researchers were able to determine exactly which genes driver mutations occur in a particular subgroup of tumors. They found that in some cases the mutations that were considered specific to one particular sub-group, also led to disturbances in nursing subgroups. This underlines the considerable heterogeneity of medulloblastoma.
The heterogeneity of this cancer type considerably complicates diagnosis and treatment. But thanks to a more complete and detailed understanding of where and when particular mutations occur, scientists can better prepare for the targeted, individualized treatment.
"For the treatment of medulloblastoma it is necessary to use an individual approach to each patient. The goal to which we should aspire - conducting more tests MATCH-precision medicine clinical trials in which the molecular targets to be used, found among various drivers Actions pane. These drivers actions extend beyond the genomic code and transformed into epigenetic mechanisms that need to be further studied and evaluated in clinical trials to determine possible treatments. We hope to be able to provide these treatments for patients who do not respond to standard therapy "- the researchers said.
The next step is to create a research laboratory models of human medulloblastoma subgroups that will help in the search for potential therapeutic agents. The ultimate goal of researchers is to develop a regime of targeted therapies that would avoid the side effects of treatment.
"Children with cancer often undergo aggressive treatment. If we can develop safer and more effective therapies, the clinical outcomes and quality of life of young patients will be much better "- the researchers noted.