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Preclinical Models of Pediatric Brain Tumors—Forging Ahead

by Tara H.W. Dobson 1,* and Vidya Gopalakrishnan 1,2,3,4,5
1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2
Department of Molecular & Cellular Oncology, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3
Brain Tumor Center, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
4
Center for Cancer Epigenetics, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
5
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences UT-Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Bioengineering 2018, 5(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering5040081
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 22 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 2 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Update in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology)
Approximately five out of 100,000 children from 0 to 19 years old are diagnosed with a brain tumor. These children are treated with medication designed for adults that are highly toxic to a developing brain. Those that survive are at high risk for a lifetime of limited physical, psychological, and cognitive abilities. Despite much effort, not one drug exists that was designed specifically for pediatric patients. Stagnant government funding and the lack of economic incentives for the pharmaceutical industry greatly limits preclinical research and the development of clinically applicable pediatric brain tumor models. As more data are collected, the recognition of disease sub-groups based on molecular heterogeneity increases the need for designing specific models suitable for predictive drug screening. To overcome these challenges, preclinical approaches will need continual enhancement. In this review, we examine the advantages and shortcomings of in vitro and in vivo preclinical pediatric brain tumor models and explore potential solutions based on past, present, and future strategies for improving their clinical relevancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: preclinical; in vitro models; animal models; pediatric brain tumors preclinical; in vitro models; animal models; pediatric brain tumors
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Dobson, T.H.; Gopalakrishnan, V. Preclinical Models of Pediatric Brain Tumors—Forging Ahead. Bioengineering 2018, 5, 81.

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