bpod-mrc: Researching Rare Cancers

Cancer isn’t one disease, but many with different characteristics and treatments. Because they’re not as widely studied, rarer cancers can have higher mortality rates. This is the case with CNS-PNETs, certain types of brain cancer in children. However, scientists recently developed a very similar type of cancer in zebrafish – shown here, with the fuchsia area marking the tumour. These can be used to test potential treatments, and researchers have already found one interesting candidate. A compound that inhibits a gene called MEK – already being looked at as a potential treatment for other cancers – successfully treated the cancer in a majority of the fish. An exciting subject for future research, this model could soon be used to test cells from the tumours of individual patients, helping develop treatments that are personalised to work best for them. Written by Esther Redhouse White Image from work by Katarzyna Modzelewska and colleagues Department of Oncological Sciences and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA Image copyright Elsevier 2016 Research published in Cell Reports, October 2016 You can also follow BPoD on Twitter and Facebook


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