Biomarkers are small molecules that can be detected in the body fluids of patients; they
often correlate with the presence of a cancer. MicroRNAs and proteins are small molecules
which have recently been discovered in cells. They are known to be responsible for the normal
development of cells and when they are disrupted can contribute to the development of cancer.
Many previous studies have been done evaluating the expression of microRNAs and proteins in
normal tissues as well as a wide variety of cancers.
Recently, microRNAs and proteins from tumor cells have been detected circulating in the blood
of patients with cancer. This presents a novel opportunity to use microRNAs and proteins in
the blood as an early predictor of cancer as well as a marker of response to therapy.
Previous work in our labs have identified miRNAs and proteins in the blood and cerebrospinal
fluid (CSF) of pediatric patients with brain tumors.
To determine a longitudinal evaluation of the presence of microRNAs and proteins in the
blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine of patients with central nervous system tumors from
diagnosis through the course of their treatment. Though the duration of active treatment
varies significantly based upon the diagnosis, patients will be followed for up to 24 months
after enrollment onto the study).