New Insight Into Life-Threatening Childhood Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“The most common type of malignant childhood brain cancer has been identified as seven separate conditions each needing a different treatment, new research has revealed.

“A study by Newcastle and Northumbria universities has found that childhood medulloblastoma can be separated into seven different subgroups which all have their own biological and clinical characteristics.”

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Melanoma Survivors Should Take Extra Measures to Protect Their Children from Sun

“A new study has found that children whose parents are melanoma survivors are not receiving the best possible protection from the sun and ultraviolet radiation.

“This lack of protection can lead to sunburn, increasing the risk of melanoma for the children, who already face a substantially higher risk of developing the skin cancer due to their family history.

“Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer as well as one of the most common. In the US, in 2014, it was estimated that 76,100 new melanomas would be diagnosed with around 9,710 people dying from the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma rates have been rising for the past 30 years.

“The authors of the study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, state that childhood is estimated to be one of the most critical exposure periods for conferring risk.”


MRD May Guide Augmented Post-Remission Treatment in Pediatric ALL

Editor’s note: In a recent study, scientists compared two different post-remission treatments for children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had only a small number of cancerous cells left in the body (minimal residual disease, MRD) after initial treatment (remission induction therapy). The scientists found that patients who received an augmented post-remission treatment, compared to the standard one, experienced better outcomes. However, these patients also had worse side effects. Ongoing clinical trials will reveal more about improved post-remission treatment and reduction of side effects.

Excerpt:

“Children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had minimal residual disease at the end of remission induction therapy demonstrated improved outcomes with augmented post-remission therapy compared with standard treatment, according to study results.

“However, patients who received augmented therapy experienced higher rates of adverse events, results showed.”


Study Offers Evidence that Sunscreen Use in Childhood Prevents Melanoma in Adults

“Research conducted at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma, has established unequivocally in a natural animal model that the incidence of malignant melanoma in adulthood can be dramatically reduced by the consistent use of sunscreen in infancy and childhood.

“According to senior author John L. VandeBerg, Ph.D., the research was driven by the fact that, despite the increasing use of sunscreen in recent decades, the incidence of malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, continues to increase dramatically. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 75,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year.”


Primary Melanoma of the CNS in Children Is Driven by Congenital Expression of Oncogenic NRAS in Melanocytes

“NRAS mutations are common in human melanoma. To produce a mouse model of NRAS-driven melanoma, we expressed oncogenic NRAS (NRASG12D) in mouse melanocytes. When NRASG12D was expressed in the melanocytes of developing embryos, it induced melanocyte proliferation and congenital melanocytic lesions reminiscent of human blue nevi but did not induce cutaneous melanoma…”