Childhood Cancer

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Using Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) to understand Pediatric Brain Tumor Initiation

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Yuan Pan, PhD
Grant Type: 
Young Investigator Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Brain Tumors, Astrocytoma, Glioma, Optic Nerve Glioma
Project Description: 

One out of five children with neurofibrosis-1 (NF1) develop a low-grade brain tumor (glioma), often in the optic pathway (optic glioma) that can lead to vision loss. Unfortunately, NF1 is currently incurable and how tumor-forming cells change from healthy to tumor states in these affected individuals is unclear. This gap in knowledge has hindered our ability to predict, prevent, or treat brain tumors in these patients.

Project Goal: 
The goal of this proposal is to understand how tumor-forming cells undergo changes from healthy to tumor states in neurofibromatosis-1. This study will determine the tumor-intrinsic and extrinsic processes of cancer initiation in NF1-associated optic glioma. Our findings will help develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for these pediatric brain tumors.

Co-funded by: 
Northwestern Mutual Foundation