DIPG/DIPT Discussion

brought to you by

Just One More Day for Love, Hope & a Cure

A searchable blog on DIPG research, DIPG news, recent publications, DIPG Foundations, DIPG researchers, clinical trials as well as other issues relating to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Tumors- both Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPGs) and Atypical Pontine Lesions (APLs).

For parents, family and friends of children with DIPG looking for information and connection to others dealing with DIPG please check the buttons on the right hand side for resources.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

JCO Releases St Jude DIPG Study Ahead of Print

On September 19th, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published online a St Jude original report on the molecular analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas entitled:

Genomic-Wide Analyses Identify Recurrent Amplification of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase and Cell-Cycle Regulatory Genes in Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

A press release from Memphis heralded this landmark event as “the largest study ever of a rare childhood brain tumor”. 


Other news articles highlight “possible new treatment targets for diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas” and speculates that (this research) “may tip the scales in the current debate about tumor biopsies.”  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/key-regulatory-genes-often-amplified-in-aggressive-childhood-tumor-of-the-brainstem-2011-09-19

So what is the big news from this study?

First, DIPGs are a distinct subclass of gliomas.  They are different from their counterparts not only in location but also in tumor molecular biology in some ways.  In comparing DIPGs to other pediatric and adult gliomas they found “higher expression of particular HOX gene family members in DIPGs compared to non-brainstem gliomas.”   These HOX genes play an important part in the development of the hindbrain.    Suzanne Baker, St Jude senior developmental biologists said “those differences offer clues about where DIPGs begin and suggest the HOX family of genes might be involved.”

What does this mean?

Well, it would seem to explain the reason that other high grade glioma (HGG) research can not be reliably translated to DIPGs as we have seen with the recurrent dismal results with temozolomide in DIPGs despite it being a first line treatment with adult glioblastoma.     Even HGG pediatric studies might not be comparable.   Thus, DIPG will need to have its own research and clinical trials.

Secondly, it gives another point to start in trying to unravel the development of DIPGs… the HOX genes.  This seems somewhat novel in DIPG literature; however, there are researchers in other areas that are working on HOX genes and hindbrain development.

Thirdly, this is only the beginning.   To truly understand DIPG, there will need to be more samples and more studies.