Molecular oncogenesis of craniopharyngioma: Current and future strategies for the development of targeted therapies: A review

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Abstract

Craniopharyngiomas are benign intracranial tumors that arise in the suprasellar and intrasellar region in children and adults. They are associated with calcification on neuroimaging, endocrinopathies, vision problems, and recurrence following subtotal resection. Molecular studies into their genetic basis have been limited, and therefore targeted medical therapies for this tumor have eluded physicians. With the discovery of aberrant Wnt/b-catenin pathway signaling in the pathogenesis of the most common subtype of craniopharyngioma (adamantinomatous), the identification of candidate genes and proteins implicated in this cascade provide attractive targets for future therapies. The recent development of a genetically engineered animal model of this tumor may also serve as a platform for evaluating potential therapies prior to clinical trials in humans. Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of tumor recurrence have also been made, providing clues to develop adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapies to couple with tumor resection for optimal response rates. Finally, advances in genomic technologies and next-generation sequencing will underlie the translation of these genetic and molecular studies from the bench to clinical practice. In this review, the authors present an analysis of the molecular oncogenesis of craniopharyngioma and current directions in the development of novel therapies for these morbid, yet poorly understood brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume119
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

Keywords

  • Beta-catenin
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Molecular biology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatric
  • Pituitary
  • Skull base

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