Dr. Michael Taylor of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children is shown in an undated photo. A new Canadian-led study is pulling back the curtain to reveal the genetic triggers for the most common form of brain cancer in children.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho-Hospital for Sick Children
TORONTO - A new Canadian-led study is pulling back the curtain to reveal the genetic triggers for the most common form of brain cancer in children.
The researchers responsible for the work say that by identifying what goes wrong in brain cells, better treatments for these cancers can be developed.
The cancer is called medulloblastoma; every year in Canada between 30 and 40 infants are diagnosed with this type of cancer.
About 70 per cent of children survive, but the cure comes at a high cost.
Treatment involves radiation of the brain and spinal column, which leads to permanent IQ declines of between 10 and 20 points.
The researchers behind the study say this work may open the door to eliminating radiation for children with one type of medulloblastoma.
The study, led by scientists from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, is published in the journal Nature.