Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children and despite aggressive tumor treatment, prognosis for many patients is still poor. Improved strategies to treat MB can only come from deeper understandings of how this tumor type originates and grows. Recent research at Fox Chase Cancer Center has been focused on hedgehog pathway associated MB. Researchers have previously demonstrated through animal models that astrocytes, a subtype of central nervous system cells found in the MB tumor microenvironment, play a critical role in MB progression. They have also found that MB cells activated astrocytes in their tumor microenvironment, stimulating them to secrete multiple growth factors for tumor growth. Based on this, researchers hypothesize that interactions between astrocytes and tumor cells are necessary for MB growth, making this interaction a possible target for new therapies. Researchers are carrying out this research on mice animal models and will use human samples provided by the Children’s Brain Tumor Network to develop new models and to validate their results. The findings from this project will shed light on the important functions of tumor microenvironment in MB growth.
What are the goals of this project?
Researchers have previously found that astrocytes interaction may play a role in the growth of a specific subtype of MBs, and will use this project as a way to validate their findings before therapeutic development begins.
What is the impact of this project?
If these results are validated, it will not only lead to important understanding of MB growth, but to the development of targeted therapies involving the tumor microenvironment.
Why is the CBTN request important to this project?
Researchers need high quality specimens to validate their results, and the Children’s Brain Tumor Network has the rare biorepository necessary to support this work.
The Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium contributed to this project by providing tissue for cell line generation.
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Medulloblastomas comprises the vast majority of pediatric embryonal tumors and by definition arise in the posterior fossa, where they constitute approximately 40% of all posterior fossa tumors. Other forms of embryonal tumors each make up 2% or less of all childhood brain tumors.The clinical feature