Medical Xpress: Researchers identify new target to treat pediatric brain tumors
UC's Timothy Phoenix part of team researching pediatric diffuse midline gliomas
Researchers have identified the role of a key gene that helps a type of pediatric brain tumor to grow, which could help develop better treatments.
Diffuse midline gliomas, formerly referred to as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG), are tumors of the primary central nervous system, meaning they begin in the brain or spinal cord. Each year, approximately 200-300 children in the United States are diagnosed with this tumor that is commonly located in the brain stem, with a nearly zero percent survival rate.
Recent research published by the University of Cincinnati's Timothy Phoenix, PhD, assistant professor in UC’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a UC Cancer Center member, as well as colleagues from the Dana-Farber Cancer Insitute, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and others, focused on a gene called PPM1D.
The researchers found PPM1D is a gene that helps promote the growth of the tumors and that drugs could potentially target this gene to treat patients. In animal models of the tumors, the tumor cells died when the gene was disabled.
Featured photo at top of Dr. Phoenix: Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand