Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common fatal childhood brain cancer. Despite significant advances in the treatment of low-risk MB patients, children with high-risk MB have low survival rates and there are currently very few treatment options available including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Due to the harsh nature of these treatments, children who survive the cancer often show severely impaired physical, cognitive, social and emotional function for the rest of their lives. There is therefore a clear need for new treatment options for high-risk MB.
We have identified a protein that its level is significantly higher in samples from high-risk MB patients. This high expression is associated with increased cancer aggressiveness and lower patient survival rates. This protein is known in some other systems to be a key regulator of metabolic pathways and stem cell features, two critical processes that are also important players in cancer growth, metastasis and resistance to therapies. In this project, the role of this protein in MB progression and metastatic characteristics will be explored. Furthermore, the potential of its targeting for the control of MB will be assessed. This project may introduce a novel potential therapeutic target for the control of high risk MB in children.
In November 2020 Dr Iman Azimi and his colleagues had a paper published in Pharmaceuticals using the Brain Foundation Research Funding. Click here to read the full paper.