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In Vivo Validation of Cell of Origin and Candidate Drivers of Group 4 Medulloblastoma

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[Technical Report, Annual Report]

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Medulloblastoma is the most common childhood brain tumor and is a major cause of cancer related mortality in children. Although current treatment strategies reach a 60-80 percent 5-year survival rate, a proportion of cases remain unresponsive to therapy and lack more effective treatment options. A significant molecular heterogeneity exists within the medulloblastoma subgroups, especially within Group 4 medulloblastoma G4-MB, challenging the choice and prediction of response to a particular therapy. Our objective is to define the cell-of-origin and candidate drivers of G4-MB, and to develop pre-clinical mouse models that reflect G4-MB tumorigenesis. We have developed a tumor mouse model that allows us to manipulate early iPSC-derived neuroepithelial stem cells, a cell population suggested as the cell-of-origin for but not limited to G4-MB. Using this model we have shown that the G4-MB candidate drivers SRC and ERBB4 induce tumor formation in TP53WT and TP53mutNESCs. Furthermore we are testing pre-clinical therapies of SRC inhibition in our SRC-ERBB4 tumor-bearing mice and are exploring other genetic G4-MB drivers such as ZMYM3. Our mouse models established here will decipher the yet unknown origin of Group 4 medulloblastoma and inform about basic principles of tumorigenesis in the brain.


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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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[A, Approved For Public Release]