cancer cells

Tumor Micro-Environment

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.

Clinical Trials and Tissue Banking

Clinical Trials and Tissue Banking

Clinical Trials The Program’s clinical trials arm has two specific aims: the first is to improve the translation of laboratory findings into clinical trials for children with low-grade gliomas and the second is to increase the Program’s access to biological materials that can be used to support the scientific investigations.  As the majority of pediatric […]

Dr. Sarah Buhrlage in her lab

Drug Development

Our understanding of the causes of cancer informs our efforts to develop effective therapies.  Mutations of the BRAF gene that result in an aberrant KIAA1549-BRAF fusion protein and subsequent dysregulation of the RAS/RAF/MEK signaling pathway occur in a large number of pediatric low-grade gliomas.  This pathway is therefore a good candidate pathway for therapeutic targeting. […]

Illustration of a method of DNA sequencing. Image background seamless.


Mutations within our DNA are largely responsible for tumorigenesis, whether inherited or acquired by cells.  Pratiti Bandopadhayay, PhD, MBBS and Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, are focused on the genomic characterization of different cancer types, and the development of novel methods to analyze the large datasets generated from these studies. Drs. Bandopadhayay and Beroukhim identified the MYB-QKI genetic […]