Epigenetic analysis: Giving the right name to a tumor
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The “Hopp Children’s Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg” (KiTZ) is a joint institution of Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).

To be able to treat cancer of the central nervous system (CNS) successfully, it is important to have very precise knowledge about the molecular characteristics of the tumors in order to “give them the right name”. It is presently possible to differentiate about 100 types of CNS tumors based on tissue characteristics. These tumor types show widely varying responses to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In some cases, methods of molecular diagnostics are used to further classify tumors, for example based on certain gene mutations. Nevertheless, their variability is large, which makes it difficult to standardize diagnostic methods.

In order to enhance the diagnosis of CNS tumors, a team led by Professor Stefan Pfister, KiTZ director and department head of “Pediatric Neurooncology” at the DKFZ, in collaboration with colleagues from the Neuropathology Department at Heidelberg University Hospital led by Professor Andreas von Deimling, have developed a new computer-based method. “We hope that our new molecular classification method will help improve diagnostic accuracy in CNS tumors and, thus, also improve the chances for successful treatment,” said

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