AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 3, 2019

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Cracking the Code of a Brain Cancer that Keeps Coming Back

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One of the most common brain cancers in children, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) medulloblastoma, also is one of the more survivable for most kids. Unfortunately, for a subset of patients the cancer resists treatment and relapses with a vengeance to then turn deadly.

Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center used a powerful new computer-assisted technology called single-cell transcriptomics that measures thousands of individual cells simultaneously to map cell types and molecular cascades that drive the growth of SHH-medulloblastoma. Scientists report they discovered new treatment strategies for the disease that may help patients fight a recurrent cancer.

Scientists used direct genetic manipulation to block genetic and molecular cascades they discovered in SHH-medulloblastoma tumors. The genetic-molecular block stopped the cancer growth and prevented relapse in tumor-forming laboratory mice, according Q. Richard Lu, PhD, a senior study investigator and scientific director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s.

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