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DIPG Found to Have Three Different Subgroups

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Dr. Mark Souweidane

"Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer."

A group of prominent researchers in pediatric brain tumors, including Dr. Mark M. Souweidane, has announced a significant finding about diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), an always-fatal brain stem tumor that strikes children. Although DIPG was previously thought to be a single tumor, the research group has now identified three distinct subgroups of the disease, opening new possibilities for attacking the different tumor types with different drugs.

The new research, published in Nature Genetics, identifies an MYCN subgroup, a “silent” subgroup, and an H3-K27M subgroup of DIPG, with distinctions in methylation, expression, copy number alteration (CNA) and genetic mutations.

The collaborative, multi-institution research group, which used deep sequencing analysis to study DIPG tumors and establish these three subgroups, consists of some of the most prominent names in pediatric brain tumor research today. The authors include Dr. Oren Becher of Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Cynthia Hawkins of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Dr. David Allis of Rockefeller University, and dozens more — major DIPG experts from around the country who contributed to this important research.

The paper published about it is now available here.

DIPG is one of the rare and inoperable pediatric brain tumors that is the focus of the Weill Cornell Medicine Children's Brain Tumor Project.