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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Suzanne J. Baker

Genomic alterations in pediatric high-grade glioma

Suzanne J. Baker

Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

High-grade gliomas (HGGs) comprise nearly 20% of all brain tumors in children, and carry a dismal prognosis with 70-90% of patients dying within 2 years of diagnosis. Approximately half of all childhood HGGs are diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs). These brainstem tumors arise almost exclusively in children and cannot be treated surgically due to their vital location. The genomic landscape differs significantly between pediatric and adult HGGs. High-resolution analysis of copy number and gene expression signatures showed that pediatric and adult HGGs represent a related spectrum of disease, distinguished by differences in the frequency of copy number changes. More detailed sequence analysis has further revealed mutations that are specific to pediatric HGG, reflecting distinct selective pressures in the developing and mature brain.

Host: Janice Marie Nigro , Department of Biomedicine