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Discovery of synthetic lethal targets in MYCN neuroepithelial stem cells

Jignesh Tailor, PhD

Indiana School of Medicine

Brain cancer causes more deaths in children per year than any other cancer type. Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor. Tumors with mutations in the MYCN gene are particularly aggressive and difficult to treat. One method for targeting MYCN is to use the approach of ‘synthetic lethality’ in which a known gene mutation is combined with therapeutic inhibition of a second protein, causing cell death. With funding from CURE Childhood Cancer, Dr. Jignesh Tailor at Indiana University will use cutting-edge screening technology to identify unique tumor cell sensitivities which only show up in the presence of MYCN mutations. This approach is expected to reveal new targets for drug development to treat these aggressive brain tumors.