Transposable elements (TEs) are sequences of DNA that can change their position within a genome. Researchers working on this project hypothesize that TEs have a role in genomic evolution of high grade gliomas (HGGs). Researchers also hypothesize that transposition events are key in the development of other pediatric brain cancers, including medulloblastomas and ependymomas. Pediatric tumors tend to have lower mutational loads than their adult counterparts. This means the tumor genome has less changes to it overall, proposing that non-gene related changes (called epigenetic influences) caused by such transposition events are important in driving cancers in children. The goals of this project are to identify transposition events, to identify active transposition events during tumor evolution, and to determine how transposition events promote tumor growth. Because genetic events alone do not explain the evolution of pediatric brain cancers, studies of this nature could deliver important new insight into the factors that drive or contribute tumor initiation, growth and relapse. This research will be possible through access to Whole Genome Sequencing data in the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.
What are the goals of this project?
Researchers will identify transposition events and investigate their role in tumor evolution and progression.
What is the impact of this project?
Understanding cancer drivers such as transposition events could lead researchers to new therapies in the treatment of HGGs.
Why is the CBTN request important to this project?
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas provides researchers with comprehensive data on pediatric HGGs that is hard to access elsewhere.
The Children's Brain Tumor Network contributed to this project by providing access to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.
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
Ependymomas arise from ependymal cells that line the ventricles and passageways in the brain and the center of the spinal cord. Ependymal cells produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These tumors are classified as supratentorial or infratentorial. In children, most ependymomas are infratentorial tumors