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Medulloblastoma is the most common brain tumor in children. It is treated with a combination of surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation to a child’s brain can have harmful side effects that may have implications in later development. We intend to use molecular gene expression to validate our findings from BC Children’s Hospital regarding low and high risk tumor subgroups. Along with this, we will analyze the expression of polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), which may be a key protein for drug therapy development to treat high risk patients. In addition, we will investigate the underlying molecular characteristics of the highest risk medulloblastoma tumor subgroup by expanding our gene target panel to include epigenetic regulatory proteins with the goal of developing personalized cancer therapy. Molecular gene expression and clinical outcome will be correlated to better understand trends in this disease. We hope to avoid irradiating mild cases unnecessarily while ensuring aggressive treatment for poor prognosis medulloblastomas.
Dr. Sandra E. Dunn
Hannah's Heroes Foundation
University of British Columbia
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