Implementing Molecular Profiling at Initial Diagnosis for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients With James M. Olson, MD, PhD

James M. Olson, MD, PhD

​Brain and spinal cord tumors are the second most common cancers in children, accounting for 1 out of 4 childhood cancers. Despite intensive treatment, children with histologically diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma, supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the central nervous system (CNS-PNET), and pineoblastoma (PBL) continue to have suboptimal outcomes. James M. Olson, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at University of Washington School of Medicine, and colleagues found that molecular profiling of patients with CNS-PNET/PBL revealed a significant proportion of patients were initially misdiagnosed and consequently overtreated and that other patients have a better prognosis than previously realized. i3 Health spoke with Dr. Olson about these findings and their implications for pediatric brain tumor practice.

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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Immune Differences at Birth

In a new study published in Cancer Research , investigators have found neonatal inflammatory markers associated with childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), indicating that children with ALL are born with a dysregulated immune function that may cause abnormal reactions to early childhood infections. "Our findings suggest that children who develop ALL are immunologically disparate already at birth," stated lead author Signe Holst Søegaard, MSc, a PhD student in the Departme...
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Radiation for Childhood Brain Tumors Impairs Recent Memory

A study published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience found that children who had received radiotherapy for certain brain tumors had difficulty remembering the specifics of events experienced after radiation, but they were able to recall events prior to their treatment. Radiotherapy has greatly improved survival rates for medulloblastomas, the most common malignant brain tumors in children. However, it also harms the developing brain by reducing the volume of the hippocampus, which plays an...
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CT Scans May Increase Cancer Risk in Children

​Recent findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggest that the use of computed tomography (CT) scans may lead to an increased risk of brain tumors. Since CT scans offer improved diagnostic capabilities, they are being utilized with increasing frequency. However, CT scans use higher doses of radiation when compared to other tests, which is especially concerning when administered to children, who are more susceptible to developing radiation-related malignancies such as...
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