Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter


Scientists have discovered that cancerous cells in an aggressive type of childhood brain tumour work together to infiltrate the brain.

The researchers investigated a type of childhood brain tumour called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

They analysed its ability to leave the brain stem and send cancer cells to invade the rest of the brain.

DIPG is incredibly difficult to treat and nearly all children with this type of cancer die within two years.

The researchers used donations of biopsy tissue and the brains of children who had died as a consequence of DIPG.

They found that DIPGs are heterogenous, which enables the cells to “work” together to leave the original tumour and travel into the brain. The scientists say this shows a multi-pronged attack is likely to be necessary for treatment.

Professor Chris Jones, who led the study, said: “This is the first time we’ve observed this sort of interaction between different tumour cells in DIPG.

“The idea that the cells are working together to make the disease grow and become aggressive is new and surprising.”

Click here for the study.

Image credit | iStock

Related Articles

3D human cell models

Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool are collaborating.

Petition to ban sunbeds

A petition has been launched in the hope of persuading the government to ban commercial sunbeds in the UK.

My lab: cellular pathology

Consultant Cellular Pathologist Paul Cross gives a guided tour of his lab at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Liquid biopsy advances

Scientists are making strides in developing liquid biopsies for brain tumours by detecting tumour DNA in the fluid from around the brain and spine.