Diagnosing Paediatric Tumours

Research from the University of Nottingham have identified genetic markers that could potentially be used to more successfully diagnose brain tumours, particularly in children. The study, looking at Central Nervous System Primitive Neuro-ectodermal Brain Tumours (CNS PNET), was conducted by Professor Richard Grundy from the University of Nottingham’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre and has been published in Lancet Oncology.

Treatments for CNS PNET are relatively unsuccessful and can have extreme side effects; it is hoped that by understanding the causes of these tumours it may improve the treatments offered. During the study, Prof Grundy collected 142 CNS PNET samples from around the world and looked at their genetics. This led to the discovery that there are three sub-types of CNS PNET and that there are two distinct genetic markers.

These two markers give hope for more effective diagnosis tools, predicting the outcomes and improving the prognosis for young children with brain tumours. Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust supported the work and said “It is great to see that understanding of these tumours is improving…”

Dr Stergios Zacharoulis, Paediatric Oncology Consultant, has written patient-facing information on PNET and other types of paediatric tumours.

central nervous system Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
Abbreviation for Eustachian tube. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
Relating to the genes, the basic units of genetic material. Full medical glossary
An assessment of the likely progress of a condition. Full medical glossary
An abnormal swelling. Full medical glossary