Children Brain Tumors - New Research Helps To Identify Tumor Type And Maximize Treatment Efficacy

A recent study of medulloblastomas, which are the most common type of malignant brain tumors that affect children, uncovered new data about these tumors which vary significantly from patient to patient. The study, led by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Boston, identified and classified six different subtypes of these tumors, which will assist doctors treating medulloblastomas to identify the type of tumor present, and personalize the treatment in order to maximize its efficacy.

Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD, Neurologist-in-Chief at the Children’s Hospital Boston and the senior author of the study, issued the following statement regarding their findings: “We’re basically redefining the disease. This tumor breaks down into subtypes that really act like different diseases, and they will be treated differently looking forward. The basic genetic makeup is fundamentally different from one tumor subtype to the next. Until recently, all we could do is look at brain tumors under the microscope and say what they look like. And knowing what part of the brain they come from, we could say, that looks like medulloblastoma. Now we actually have precise molecular signatures and we know what subtype of medulloblastoma it is. And we can say something about that subtype . . . and what seems to be driving their growth and what the prognosis might be.”

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