Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour in children. Four papers published in the 2 August 2012 issue of Nature use whole-genome and other sequencing techniques to produce a detailed picture of the genetics and genomics of this condition. Notable findings include the identification of recurrent mutations in genes not previously implicated in medulloblastoma, with significant genetic differences associated with the four biologically distinct subgroups and clinical outcomes in each. Potential avenues for therapy are suggested by the identification of targetable somatic copy-number alterations, including recurrent events targeting TGF-β signalling in Group 3, and NF-κB signalling in Group 4 medulloblastomas.
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