VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There are promising developments in the fight against medulloblastoma, the most common form of childhood cancer.

“We now understand a little bit about what genetic elements are broken,” says Dr. Marco Marra, co-leader of the project and head of BC Cancer Agency’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

The agency is part of the Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium (MAGIC) team, which includes the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario and 46 cancer centres around the world.

Dr. Marra is a co-leader of the project. He says the disease has four subtypes, and researchers have identified damage unique to each one.

Each subtype seems to react differently to chemotherapy, radiation, or drug therapy. The hope is that the new findings will lead to less toxic and more precise treatments.

The research project was launched on January 30th of this year and the initial findings have already been published in a leading scientific journal.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to produce such significant results so early in our study,” says Marra. “And that we have the opportunity to disseminate our results in the Journal Nature to the broader biomedical community.”

Genome BC, which manages a $550 million research portfolio, contributed funding to the project.