LIN28B is a gene that has been well-established as having oncogenic properties in neuroblastoma. Its place in the LIN28B-RAN-aurora kinase A pathway, where it helps cells to divide more quickly. has recently been elucidated, but researchers at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research, including Robert W. Schnepp, MD, PhD, are presently investigating its role in cell self-renewal.
Specifically, researchers want to see if LIN28B is driving the unlimited cell division (termed self-renewal) that can make tumors very challenging to treat with chemotherapy and may be associated with driving metastasis. They have preliminary evidence that LIN28B does drive self-renewal, perhaps accounting for some of the challenges in treating patients with this cancer
Currently, researchers are performing genomic profiling to better determine the signaling pathways that LIN28B uses to drive self-renewal in neuroblastoma. They are planning to do this in xenograft cell lines from patient neuroblastoma tissue, in both in vitro and then in vivo (mice) models.
As the relationship between LIn28B and self-renewal in neuroblastoma of LIN28B is further elucidated, clues can be generated about possible mechanisms of targeting it therapeutically.