Early symptoms of recurrence in children with medulloblastoma are identified using cell-free DNA

Nov, 2021 - by CMI


The researcher designed an approach to determine MRD, and consequently the chance of relapse, earlier than a typical imaging scan would discover recurring tumors.

One of the most prevalent malignant pediatric brain tumors is medulloblastoma. Imaging at the end of the treatment is useful for assessing the lack of bulky disease, however, there is no definitive test to pronounce a patient disease-free. As a result, clinicians have no idea who has been cured or who will recur, and they do know that about one-third of patients may recur. Tumor cells that are active after or during cancer treatment are referred to as MRD. Detecting tumor cells or indicators of tumor cells, such as cell-free DNA, is critical for recognizing the early risk of relapse and potentially preventing it before it becomes rooted.

When patients come after therapy, the team scans them regularly for the first few years, and by the time they identify a recurrence on a scan, there already is a lot of sicknesses. Relapsed medulloblastoma has an extremely bad prognosis, and for many patients, it would be too late to treat. As a result, they explored a better technique to evaluate whether a child is actually disease-free when they discontinue therapy. Researchers now know if there is medulloblastoma cell-free DNA in the CSF at the end of the treatment, the patient is expected to recover. This provides them something more to work on, an option to completely eliminate the disease before it had the possibility to relapse.

Children with medulloblastoma have recurrent spinal taps to test for illness as part of conventional treatment. This is peculiar to pediatric brain tumors, which are much more likely to transmit by CSF. Cell-free DNA is seen circulating in plasma or CSF because it is not bound by a cell's membrane. The SJMB03 study examined CSF samples from medulloblastoma patients to test for cell-free DNA that would confirm the existence of MRD. The test samples were obtained as part of the required care.

According to the results, this way of diagnosing MRD can notify clinicians of the risk of relapse sooner. However, before it may be used in prospective clinical trials, it must be approved by a recognized clinical laboratory.