Thanks to international collaboration, Emmanuelle Huillard’s and Marc Sanson’s ICM teams have identified a new gene involved in the development of an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Pr. Marc Sanson’s and Emmanuelle Huillard’s teams focus on the genetic characterization of brain tumours as well as the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the genesis of these tumours. In collaboration with the National Genotyping Centre (Paris), the Institute for Research on Cancer (London), McGill University (Montreal) and the network POLA coordinated by Pr. Jean-Yves Delattre at the ICM, researchers found a mutation in the TCF12 gene into an aggressive form of brain cancer, anaplastic oligodendrogliomas. This study was performed on the largest population of oligodendrogliomas ever studied, by high-throughput sequencing of all genes of 134 tumours. In addition to frequent mutations already known (HDI, CIC, FOXO1, TERT promoter), a mutation of TCF12 gene was identified in almost 10% of these tumours. This TCF12 gene encodes a transcription factor whose activity is reduced in case of mutation, which would result in a decreasing expression of tumour suppressor genes, and would be associated with increased tumour aggressiveness.
This discovery opens a new path in understanding the development of these tumours and identifying their causes.
This approach gives longer-term hope for personalised treatment, based on the genetic profile of the each patient’s tumour.