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Scientists Discover New Way to Treat Common Type of Cancer in Children

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Nov 16, 2022 7:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute



Scientists have discovered a new way to prevent the growth of MYC gene-amplified medulloblastoma, one of the most common types of cancer in children. The study, which confirmed the discovery, was published on November 10 in the journal Cancer Cell, and it explains how blocking the production of an enzyme in the body called DHODH can stop the growth of this type of cancer.

According to William Gwynne, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Discovery in Cancer Research, this method is effective because blocking DHODH prevents cancer from spreading while having no negative effects on brain and nerve cells.

Can Prevent Side Effects of Current Treatments

Furthermore, if this cancer treatment proves successful during the clinical trial stage, it may help patients avoid the side effects of current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which can impair children's brain development even when their cancer is in remission. It is important to note that, while the treatment appears to be promising, reaching the clinical trial stage will take several years.

New Treatment Will Not be Toxic to the Developing Brain

“This potential treatment pathway will allow us to kill the weeds but save the flower of the developing brain. This DHODH treatment target holds great promise, but it will take several years before we can reach the clinical trial stage. This potential new treatment, unlike current ones, will not be toxic to the developing brain,” he said. Explaining more about the MYC gene-amplified medulloblastoma cancer, Gwynne highlighted that all its types originate from the neural stem cells in the cerebellum. It is that part of the brain responsible for the control of voluntary actions including speech, balance, walking, and more.

According to the expert, the cerebellum develops entirely after the child is born, and cancer develops when cell development in that area goes awry. Headaches, nausea, unbalance, and other symptoms of medulloblastoma have been identified. It is explained that by the time cancer is discovered, it has frequently spread throughout the brain and into the spinal fluid. Unfortunately, medulloblastoma has now surpassed leukaemia as the most lethal childhood cancer, and it is one of the most commonly diagnosed paediatric brain cancers in children.

Also Read: A new strategy delivering immunotherapy medicines revealed to treat cancer

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