A profiling system predicts well the clinical outcome of the most common type of childhood malignant brain tumour (medulloblastoma), report Todd R. Golub of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and colleagues in this week's Nature (Vol. 415, No. 6870, 24 January 2002).
Little is known about early-childhood central nervous system tumours. Their diagnosis, on the basis of appearance alone, is controversial and patients' response to therapy has to date been difficult to predict. So Golub's team has developed a classification system based on DNA microarray gene expression data that demonstrates that medulloblastomas are molecularly distinct from other tumours and that sheds some light on why they may occur. "This work illustrates how genomic technologies have the potential to advance treatment towards a more individualised approach to medicine," the researchers conclude.
Todd R. Golub
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