DIPG/DIPT Discussion

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DIPG Dialogue


Dr. David Zagzag is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurosurgery, the Director of Microvascular and Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory, and the Director of the Human Brain Tumor Bank at NYU Medical Center. His research and clinical interests include the pathology of nervous system, mechanisms of cerebral vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.

Questions & Answers:

What is a Brain Bank?

A brain tumor bank serves as a repository for tissues. These tissues are preserved in our bank by freezing or by fixation in different fixatives. Freezing and fixation help to assure that the tissues are safeguarded until needed for investigations.

Approximately how many brain tumor specimens do you have?

We currently have approximately 500 brain tumor specimens in our tumor bank.

How do you get these specimens- from surgery or from autopsy?

The specimens in the tumor bank are acquired from both surgery and autopsy.

Do you have any pediatric DIPG specimens?

We have specimens from approximately 250 pediatric brain tumor patients in our tumor bank. This includes approximately 15 pediatric patients diagnosed with DIPG.

What do you hope to do with these specimens?

We use these specimens to perform investigations into the pathogenesis of brain tumors. Our goal is to use the collected information to develop diagnostic and prognostic methods that can be translated into the clinic for therapeutic use in patients.

Is using the bank only open to those associated with NYU?

No, use of the brain tumor bank is not limited to those associated with NYU, investigators from any institution are welcome to request specimens from our bank.

Do you know of other brain banks for pediatric brain tumors?

Yes, though limited in number, other pediatric brain tumor banks have been established in universities, hospitals, and other medical institutions around the nation.

This endeavor is a team effort with Pediatric Neurosurgeons Drs. Jeffrey Wisoff, Howard Weiner and David Harter, and Pediatric Neurooncologists Drs. Jeffrey Allen, Sharon Gardner and Matthias Karajannis.