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NCI Cancer Center News

Washington University study offers clues to cause of kids’ brain tumors

  • Posted: November 16, 2012

Insights from a genetic condition that causes brain cancer are helping scientists better understand the most common type of brain tumor in children. In new research, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (home to the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center) have identified a cell growth pathway that is unusually active in pediatric brain tumors known as gliomas. They previously identified the same growth pathway as a critical contributor to brain tumor formation and growth in neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1), an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.