See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tumor Cells in a Hurry: Duct Tape will do!

In alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, 70-75% of tumors carry the Pax3:Foxo1a oncogene.  This oncogene seems to account for a large difference in the response to chemotherapy and radiation relative to rhabdomyosarcomas that do not carry this fusion gene.  
In a report just released in PLoS Genetics, Ken from our lab reports that Pax3:Foxo1a levels fluctuate during tumor cell replication, and that a primary function of Pax3:Foxo1a seems to be “checkpoint adaptation” – the process of giving the cell permission to continue cell division despite damage from therapy… with the hopes that this damage can be later repaired, simply tolerated – or may offer an advantage to the tumor cell as a result of newly gained mutations/properties. The paper is freely available online at:

Fishermen helping kids with cancer

This incredible group of commercial fishermen in British Columbia support children with cancer and childhood cancer research while having a fun time. Their website and 2013 herring sale video can be seen at