Friday October 24, 2014   
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Research Grants

Comprehensive Characterization of the Anaplastic Meningioma Genome

Rameen Beroukhim, M.D., Ph.D.at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Meningiomas are the most common type of brain tumor, found in approximately one in five hundred people. Although they are typically cured by surgery, up to 20% recur. The most aggressive subtype, anaplastic meningioma, typically leads to death in less than 18 months. One way to develop effective treatments is to identify the DNA mutations that lead to meningioma. This method has worked for certain types of leukemia, lung cancer, melanoma, and other cancer types, in part by accomplishing two goals. First, by determining how these mutations disrupt the internal controls of meningioma cells, we can fashion new therapies that reverse the mutations’ disruptive effects. Second, by understanding which mutations an individual meningioma has, we may be able to predict how it will behave.

In principle, the only way to detect all of these mutations is to reconstruct the entire genome of a meningioma and compare it to the normal genome of the same patient. In this project, Dr. Beroukhim will reconstruct the genomes of five anaplastic meningiomas and their normal counterparts, and identify all the mutations that led to these meningiomas. He anticipates that this knowledge will lead to a fundamental understanding of how meningiomas arise, and will enable the development of targeted treatments that reverse the effects of the mutations that lead to meningioma.

 

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