Children with brain tumors desperately need new treatment options, and thanks to the work of Dr. Maria Castro and her team, which was recently published in a groundbreaking paper in Science Translational Medicine, scientists now have a way to find and test new treatments faster.
The paper describes a novel brain tumor model in mice, discovered by Dr. Castro and her team. The mice studied have the same genetic problems as those seen in many children with the most dangerous forms of brain cancer, which means that the mice should be able to serve as a new test bed for treatments aimed at shrinking children's tumors.
“This is exciting because it’s the first animal model of pediatric high-grade gliomas, or malignant brain tumors,” says Dr. Castro, senior author of the paper. “The mice carry the genetic mutations found in human tumors, and develop tumors that closely resemble what children and adolescents do.”
And unlike previous attempts by others, this new model has a fully functional immune system, which makes it even more like the children they mimic.
We continue to applaud the Castro/Lowenstein group on their ground-breaking research and work!
Read more about the implications of this important paper in the U-M release.