SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NextBio today announced a translational research partnership with Emory University, Winship Cancer Institute and the Aflac Cancer Center aimed at using NextBio Clinical to interpret molecular and genomic data from children with medulloblastoma. The goal of the effort is to discover biomarkers that predict metastasis of the cancer in these young patients.
Medulloblastoma is the most common brain tumor of childhood effecting around 500 children in the US every year. This tumor primarily affects children between the ages of 5 and 9 years and accounts for 20% of all brain tumors in children below 19. There is currently no way to predict which patients will develop tumor metastasis. Thus the widely accepted standard of care is to treat all children suffering from this type of brain cancer with radiation therapy.
"The problem with giving radiation to all children with medulloblastoma is that it causes long term side-effects and toxicity in young growing brains," said Tobey MacDonald, M.D. Director, Brain Tumor Program at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University. He is also the principal investigator of the study and has spent over 10 years of his career working on solving the problem of predicting which children with brain cancer should be treated with radio-therapy while sparing those at low risk of disease spread.
"Emory and the Aflac Cancer Center's ability to perform genomic studies on patients and then to use NextBio Clinical's correlation engine to compare the genomic profile of primary tumors with that of metastatic tumors, both across our data and across the large amount of data that NextBio has curated from the public domain, makes achieving our goal of improving outcomes for people with medulloblastoma seem nearer in sight," Dr. M
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