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$1.2 Million to Study Brain Tumors

Gila Z. Reckess
Feb. 18, 2002 – Mouse models of brain tumors may help physicians treat people with brain tumors. A team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke towards the development of a model for astrocytoma.

Astrocytomas are one of the most common types of brain tumor and remain fatal despite advances in cancer therapy. Researchers still are struggling to understand the underlying genetic events that result in this deadly disease.

Principal investigator David H. Gutmann, M.D., Ph.D., the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology, and his colleagues at the School of Medicine and at the University of Toronto, created genetically altered mice that shortly after birth develop tumors similar to human astrocytomas. The researchers will use this grant to determine which genetic changes in these mice are necessary for the development of these tumors and contribute to their progression.

"Our ability to design targeted therapies for astrocytomas is heavily dependent on our understanding of the molecular origins of these tumors," says Gutmann. "Studies that explore these issues are best done in animal models such as this one, which will help us develop and test potential treatment options."


The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
Washington University School of Medicine, Office of Medical Public Affairs, Washington University School of Medicine at Washington University Medical Center, Campus Box 8508, 4444 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis MO 63108-2259, (314) 286-0100 FAX: (314) 286-0199

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