Medulloblastoma is one of the most common intracranial tumors in children. It is also the most aggressive and malignant forms of tumors of the brain.
Medulloblastomas are most commonly treated by using a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy ranges from 20-55 Gy and chemotherapy includes the use of carboplatin and cisplatin often accompanied by lomustine and/or vincrsitine. These are good to protect against the disease but medulloblastoma recurs after sometime in many cases, which is a most important challenge for the scientists.
Researchers have studied a lot about the role of ERα in several tumors but the function of ERβ in malignancy is still to be studied. ER refers to estrogen receptor and ERβ has been found in medulloblastoma. Researchers are of the opinion that in some cancer types ERβ levels play an important role especially in those cancers in which “ERα are either very low or practically undetectable”.
These two nuclear receptors mediate different and often opposite cellular responses, better understanding of ERβ and its role in normal and pathologic growth of neural progenitors is absolutely required before pharmacological manipulations targeting this nuclear receptor could be used as a clinical regimen against medulloblastoma.
Researchers have found different responses of ICI182,780 – ERβ antagonist – and cisplatin. These differences are thought to be related to the difference in the cellular conditions, which can be studied further.
Anna Wilk, Agnieszka Waligorska, Piotr Waligorski, Augusto Ochoa, and Krzysztof Reiss, (2012). Inhibition of ERβ Induces Resistance to Cisplatin by Enhancing Rad51–Mediated DNA Repair in Human Medulloblastoma Cell Lines. PLoS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033867