independent studies have illuminated the fine molecular details of ependymoma
tumors and identified targets for a previously intractable disease. A St. Jude Children's Research Hospital team focused on
forebrain ependymomas and identified a fusion protein as a potential target,1
whereas researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children and the German Cancer Research Center focused on hindbrain ependymomas and uncovered epigenetic
St. Jude team used an algorithm called CREST (clipping reveals structure)7
to map genomic structural variations. The group studied nine supratentorial
ependymomas and in all cases found structural variations that clustered within
leader Richard Gilbertson, director and chair of the Comprehensive Cancer
Center at St. Jude, thinks that the findings have diagnostic and therapeutic
Hospital for Sick Children and German Cancer Research Center team took a
different tack after finding a dearth of recurrent genetic events in its
initial analyses. The group used profile analyses on methylation microarray and
mass spectrometry data to divide the cancer into three distinct subgroups:
supratentorial, posterior fossa, and mixed spinal and posterior fossa tumors.
Baas, T. SciBX 7(12);
Published online March 27, 2014
1. Parker, M. et al. Nature; published online Feb. 19,
2014; doi:10.1038/nature13109 Contact: Richard J.
Gilbertson, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: David W. Ellison, same affiliation as above e-mail:
Contact: Jinghui Zhang, same affiliation as above e-mail:
2. Mack, S.C. et al. Nature; published online Feb. 19,
2014; doi:10.1038/nature13108 Contact: Michael D. Taylor, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada e-mail: email@example.com Contact:
Andrey Korshunov, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research,
Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Johnson, R.A. et al. Nature 466, 632-636 (2010)
4. Witt, H. et al. Cancer Cell 20, 143-157 (2011)
5. Wani, K. et al. Acta Neuropathol. 123, 727-738 (2012)
6. Merchant, T.E. et al. Lancet Oncol. 10, 258-266 (2009)
7. Wang, J. et al. Nat. Methods 8, 652-654 (2011)
Constellation Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ:EPZM),
German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK), London, U.K.
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN),
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Nashville, Tenn.
Structural Genomics Consortium, Oxford, U.K.