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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2018 May;61(3):292-301. English. Clinical Trial.
Kuzan-Fischer CM , Juraschka K , Taylor MD .
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood and remains a major cause of cancer related mortality in children. Significant scientific advancements have transformed the understanding of medulloblastoma, leading to the recognition of four distinct clinical and molecular subgroups, namely wingless (WNT), sonic hedgehog, group 3, and group 4. Subgroup classification combined with the recognition of subgroup specific molecular alterations has also led to major changes in risk stratification of medulloblastoma patients and these changes have begun to alter clinical trial design, in which the newly recognized subgroups are being incorporated as individualized treatment arms. Despite these recent advancements, identification of effective targeted therapies remains a challenge for several reasons. First, significant molecular heterogeneity exists within the four subgroups, meaning this classification system alone may not be sufficient to predict response to a particular therapy. Second, the majority of novel agents are currently tested at the time of recurrence, after which significant selective pressures have been exerted by radiation and chemotherapy. Recent studies demonstrate selection of tumor sub-clones that exhibit genetic divergence from the primary tumor, exist within metastatic and recurrent tumor populations. Therefore, tumor resampling at the time of recurrence may become necessary to accurately select patients for personalized therapy.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.