Skip to main content

The importance of the epigenome in tumour development and recurrence

Final Report Summary - EPIBRAIN (The importance of the epigenome in tumour development and recurrence)

The aim of the project was to explore the epigenome of brain tumours. Both to provide tools for improving the diagnosis, outcome predictions and monitoring treatment responses of cancer patients and to decipher the role of epigenetic aberrations in tumours and how to target them for improving survival and quality of life of patients. The project has revealed issues that can limit the use of so called differentiation therapy for aggressive brain tumours which should be taken into account when designing new warranted therapy for glioblastoma using the concepts of differentiation therapy. The project has also used DNA methylation profiles from paediatric brain tumours to develop a diagnostic classifier, called MethPed. The classifier is currently being evaluated in a national study in which all tumours from these patients are included with the aim of improving current diagnostics.
The fellow, Helena Carén, has started her independent research group at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center at the University of Gothenburg now composed of 12 team members including PhD students, postdocs, technicians and master students. She has established excellent collaboration with the University hospital in Gothenburg and key scientific collaborators at different Universities. Dr Carén has engaged in teaching and initiated and organised a new PhD course in cancer epigenetics to transfer knowledge to other researchers at the University. In 2016, she was appointed Associate Professor in molecular medicine.