Pediatric brain tumors have a devastating impact on the life of the affected children and their families. The most common brain tumor in children is medulloblastoma (MB); 20 – 30% of MB patients still succumb to the disease. Even if successfully treated, MB tumors can reduce well-being of the patients in long-term due to complications associated with the harsh therapies that are necessary to cure the patients. Therefore, improved therapeutic approaches to selectively target the molecular mechanisms that drive growth and progression of the tumor - while sparing mechanisms relevant for physiological functions in the healthy tissue - are urgently needed.
With our RESEARCH, we address tumor cell migration and tissue invasion, which are the underlying causes of metastatic spread in malignant tumors such as MB. Our primary objective is to develop and explore molecular targeting strategies against cell functions that drive cell migration and tissue invasion in medulloblastoma. By providing novel mechanistic insights in the molecular processes that promote and mediate cell migration and tissue invasion, we furthermore extend our understanding of the biology underlying pediatric brain tumor growth and progression.
Our lab is part of the Pediatric Oncology Division of the University Children's Hospital Zürich and associated with the Children's Research Center, and Comprehensive Cancer Center Zürich and the University of Zürich.