The Cellular Origin of Medulloblastoma (2007–2008)
Through a genetic mapping approach we identified and genetic pathway known as the hedgehog pathway which is altered in many common forms of cancer, particularly solid tumours. Cancer is increasingly being seen as a disease of stem cell regulation where the virtually unlimited growth potential of tumour cells is derived from subtle changes to the stem cells which exist in all of our tissues and have as their main responsibility the repair and regeneration of damage. We have shown that the hedgehog pathway is important not only in common human cancer but also the regulation brain stem cells. In this application we further define the role of the hedgehog pathway in the most common form of brain tumours in children and in brain stem cells. This knowledge will lead to a better understanding of how to treat these tumours and key insights into brain development.