A recently developed mouse model of brain tumors common in the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) successfully mimics the human condition and provides unique insight into tumor development, diagnosis and treatment, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
After validating their animal model, the team made two important discoveries: New blood vessels and immune system cells may be essential to the initial formation of tumors and therefore may be promising drug targets; and brain images often used to determine the need for treatment may not actually be diagnostically informative. "These mice develop brain tumors with many of the same features as those seen in children with NF1, and studying those tumors has helped us understand the cellular events involved in NF1 brain tumor development," says principal investigator David H. Gutmann, M.D., Ph.D., the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology.
The study appears online and will be published in the January 2005 issue of the journal Annals of Neurology.
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