• Scientists working on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) discover a potential new treatment strategy.
  • The DIPG is an aggressive tumor that affects children below the age of 10.
  • The tumor is lethal for most children and we know nothing about its treatment.
The DIPG and its Development

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) is a type of brain tumor that affects young children. This cancer attacks the brain stem of children below the age of 10. Because of the youth of the host, the tumor can take away their life within a year.

DIPG is not a common disease. This tumor appears in about 300 cases annually in the US. However, because it affects young children it is an extremely tragic disease. Scientists working on the research project believe that the topic is important because it may give hope to affected families.

Here is a link to a short article that looks at DIPG and its diagnosis. Also, if you want to explore the subject deeper you can check out this academic article. Finally, the Children’s National Health System is doing a lot to further our understanding of DIPG. Take a quick look at this video that illustrates their work on the subject.

The Research

The research is led by an international team. They are researchers from Yale University, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and the University of Iowa.

Since the disease is so rare and lethal the research team explored all potential ways for its treatment. Because of their extra effort and collaboration, scientists discover a weak point in the tumor’s growth process.

The research found that the disease can be manipulated in its developing phases. This is possible because of two genes NAPRT and NAMPT. The mentioned genes play a role in the development of the disease. However, if the process of NAMPT development is stopped the tumor will starve to death. This can be done through the introduction of a mutation known as PPM1D.

The scientists working on the project want to make a drug that utilizes the power of this mutation. However, this process needs more exploration before it can come to any useful conclusion. Nonetheless, there is true hope that this new research strategy can offer the needed results.

  • The side effects of the treatment method remain untested. Therefore, researchers want to perform more experiments before drug development starts.


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