Associate Professor, EMBO YIP 2021 CIBIO – University of Trento,
Trento – ITALY

Wednesday 19 May 2021 |12:00 noon – ICGEB Trieste, ITALY

Modeling brain cancer with human organoids

Host: G. Del Sal

Among children/infant brain tumors, Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common and stands as a cause for a high percentage of morbidity and mortality among patients During the past few years, studies on human MB have uncovered the existence of four major MB groups: WNT, SHH, Group3 and Group4. Patients with Group3 MB currently have the worst outcome among the four groups, and nearly 50% are metastatic at the time of diagnosis. Notably, in the last 3 years in our laboratory we have developed a novel pediatric Medulloblastoma organoid model (Ballabio et al., 2020, 2021). We generated human iPSC-derived cancer organoids upon c-MYC/OTX2 and C-MYC/Gfi1 co- overexpression, mimicking human MB genetic alterations. Furthermore, the use of DNA methylation signature in combination with MB specific markers analysis indicates that our organoid-based cancer model recapitulates several features of human MB. Now, we are taking advantage of this technology to produce novel brain cancer organoids that we are using to address cancer biology questions.

– Ballabio C, Anderle M, Gianesello M, Lago C, Miele E, Cardano M, Aiello G, Piazza S, Caron D, Gianno F, Ciolfi A, Pedace L, Matronuzzi A, Tartaglia M, Locatelli F, Ferretti E, Giangaspero F and Tiberi L. Modeling Medulloblastoma in vivo and with human cerebellar organoids. Nature Communications. 2020 Feb. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019- 13989-3.

– Ballabio C, Gianesello M, Lago C, Okonechnikov K, Anderle M, Aiello G, Antonica F, Gianno F, Giangaspero F, Hassan B, Pfister S, Tiberi L. Notch1 switches progenitor competence in inducing medulloblastoma. 2021.