The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process by which epithelial cells, cells that come from surfaces of the body like skin, organs, and vessels, gain properties that lead them to become mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types. Activation of this process allows cancer cells to survive individually, invade surrounding tissues and metastasize. It also enables them to survive exposure to chemotherapies and radiation. The multiple similarities between these stem cells and cancer cells have led to widespread interest of researchers to discover molecular mechanisms that link these two cell types. These EMT derived stem cells and cancer cells share certain common characteristics, such as ability to self-renew and block in differentiation, a rapid cell cycle, and high telomerase activity that result in uncontrolled growth. Using data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas, researchers will perform a variety of comprehensive analyses in an effort to better understand the link between the EMT, cancer cells, and cancer growth. Understanding this connection could lead to great advancements in the fields of cancer biology and cancer therapy.
What are the goals of this project?
The main goal of this project is to better understand the link between the EMT, cancer cells, and cancer development.
What is the impact of this project?
Activation of the EMT allows cancer cells to survive individually, invade surrounding tissues and metastasize as well as survive exposure to chemotherapies and radiation. Understanding this connection could lead to great advancements in the fields of cancer biology and cancer therapy.
Why is the CBTN request important to this project?
Access to comprehensive data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas will allow researchers to make the characterizations described by this project, allowing for a range of correlation/association studies with results of value to the field of cancer biology and therapy.
The Children's Brain Tumor Network contributed to this project by providing access to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.
PI: Maciej Wiznerowicz, International Institute for Molecular Oncology
Sylwia Mazurek, Bioinformatician
Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaJoined on
Operations Center for the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is currently ranked 1st nationally for their Pediatric Cancer Program by U.S. News & World Report. CHOP’s Biobank is home to the CBTTC’s pediatric brain and CNS tumor biorepository; the