Researchers Gain Insight Into Childhood Eye Tumor Retinoblastoma

August 17, 2011

Researchers at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital have determined that, unlike other cancers that resemble a particular type of cell, retinoblastoma (a tumor of the retina that primarily afflicts infants and toddlers) is a hybrid cell with elements of at least three different cell types: amacrine and horizontal interneurons, retinal progenitor cells, and photoreceptors.

Researchers also studied the developmental pathways of these cancerous cells. Surprisingly, unlike in other cancers, they found very few genetic changes distinguishing the malignant cells from normal cells.

These findings have therapeutic value insofar as chemotherapy agents are increasingly designed against particular molecular pathways active in cancer cells.

Click here to read the full release regarding the study.




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