Research ArticleCancer

Lowered H3K27me3 and DNA hypomethylation define poorly prognostic pediatric posterior fossa ependymomas

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Nov 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 366, pp. 366ra161
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aah6904

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Epigenetics helps find the bad tumors

Ependymomas are brain tumors that can occur in people of all ages and in different parts of the central nervous system. The prognosis of these tumors does not necessarily correlate with clinical characteristics or even tumor grade, and there are no recurrent genetic mutations that can be used to classify these tumors. To address this problem, Bayliss et al. examined the epigenetics of ependymoma. By doing this, the authors identified some characteristic methylation patterns that correlate with prognosis, including one specific pattern that is also seen in childhood gliomas and associated with more invasive tumors.