Medulloblastoma epigenetics and the path to clinical innovation

Amanda R. Haltom, Stephanie A. Toll, Donghang Cheng, Shinji Maegawa, Vidya Gopalakrishnan, Soumen Khatua

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: In the last decade, a number of genomic and pharmacological studies have demonstrated the importance of epigenetic dysregulation in medulloblastoma initiation and progression. High throughput approaches including gene expression array, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and methylation profiling have now clearly identified at least four molecular subgroups within medulloblastoma, each with distinct clinical and prognostic characteristics. These studies have clearly shown that despite the overall paucity of mutations, clinically relevant events do occur within the cellular epigenetic machinery. Thus, this review aims to provide an overview of our current understanding of the spectrum of epi-oncogenetic perturbations in medulloblastoma. Methods: Comprehensive review of epigenetic profiles of different subgroups of medulloblastoma in the context of molecular features. Summary: Epigenetic regulation is mediated mainly by DNA methylation, histone modifications and microRNAs (miRNA). Importantly, epigenetic mis-events are reversible and have immense therapeutic potential. Conclusion: The widespread epigenetic alterations present in these tumors has generated intense interest in their use as therapeutic targets. We provide an assessment of the progress that has been made towards the development of molecular subtypes-targeted therapies and the current status of clinical trials that have leveraged these recent advances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone modifications
  • Medulloblastoma
  • MicroRNA
  • Therapeutics


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