The PLGA Program is investigating how the tumor micro-environment affects the growth and development of pediatric low-grade gliomas by asking questions such as why do tumors that express the KIAA1549-BRAF fusion genes only occur in the cerebellum? Tumors are mixtures of different cell types, including diverse types of cancer and non-cancer cells. This has implications for cancer treatment as distinct cancer cell types may respond differently to individual therapies. Moreover, immune cells present within a tumor can be harnessed to attack the cancer cells, an approach used in many other cancers such as melanoma. The Program’s researchers are taking two approaches to exploring the cellular diversity of tumors: developing culture systems for growing primary tumors in the laboratory and performing single cell RNA sequencing on individual tumor cells.