Studying Wyatt’s Tumor Leads to Discovery
A group of researchers at University of Michigan recently uncovered similarities between DIPG and another pediatric tumor called Posterior Fossa-group A ependymomas (PFA ependymomas). By studying the brain tumor from then 5-year-old Wyatt Rodart, a reduction in certain critical DNA packaging proteins, called histones, which play a role in the development of DIPG, have also been seen in other pediatric brain tumors. This suggests that DIPG may have more molecular and genetic similarities to other pediatric brain tumors than previously once thought.
These findings represent another step in understanding the complex biology, development, and similarities between different pediatric brain tumors, but also have important implications on future targeted treatments.