Pediatric Brain Tumor Research: Unique Challenges and Opportunities
Pediatric brain cancer touches people's lives in a unique way. "When a tumor grows in the brain it threatens to affect the core of the self," said Dr. Sarah Leary, a physician at Seattle Children's Hospital. "The brain is the center of who we are, and it can't be removed and replaced." Couple this integral location with the fact that it's a cancer arising in children, and it's even more disturbing. The apparent randomness in the incidence of pediatric brain cancers clashes with our sense of justice and fairness. While we can look to an aging smoker who develops lung cancer and point to a lifetime of inhaling carcinogens as a causal factor, no such rationale exists with pediatric cancers. However, promising research focused specifically on pediatrics may be the key to unlocking cancer's mysteries.