Rani E. George

Learn More
Neuroblastoma, an embryonal tumour of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, accounts for approximately 15% of all deaths due to childhood cancer. High-risk neuroblastomas are rapidly progressive; even with intensive myeloablative chemotherapy, relapse is common and almost uniformly fatal. Here we report the detection of previously unknown mutations in(More)
The vertebrate neural crest is a pluripotent cell population that generates a large variety of cell types, including peripheral neurons, cartilage and pigment cells. Mechanisms that control the patterning of the neural crest toward specific cell fates remain only partially understood. Zebrafish homozygous for the sympathetic mutation 1 (sym1) have defects(More)
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive disease with high mortality, and the identification of effective pharmacological strategies to target SCLC biology represents an urgent need. Using a high-throughput cellular screen of a diverse chemical library, we observe that SCLC is sensitive to transcription-targeting drugs, in particular to THZ1, a(More)
The ALK(F1174L) mutation is associated with intrinsic and acquired resistance to crizotinib and cosegregates with MYCN in neuroblastoma. In this study, we generated a mouse model overexpressing ALK(F1174L) in the neural crest. Compared to ALK(F1174L) and MYCN alone, co-expression of these two oncogenes led to the development of neuroblastomas with earlier(More)
Since the original descriptions of gain-of function mutations in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), interest in the role of this receptor tyrosine kinase in neuroblastoma development and as a potential therapeutic target has escalated. As a group, the activating point mutations in full-length ALK, found in approximately 8% of all neuroblastoma tumors, are(More)
The MYC oncoproteins are thought to stimulate tumor cell growth and proliferation through amplification of gene transcription, a mechanism that has thwarted most efforts to inhibit MYC function as potential cancer therapy. Using a covalent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) to disrupt the transcription of amplified MYCN in neuroblastoma cells, we(More)
VHL, NF-1, c-Ret, and Succinate Dehydrogenase Subunits B and D act on a developmental apoptotic pathway that is activated when nerve growth factor (NGF) becomes limiting for neuronal progenitor cells and requires the EglN3 prolyl hydroxylase as a downstream effector. Germline mutations of these genes cause familial pheochromocytoma and other neural(More)
Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor in children, is derived from neural crest cells. Nearly half of patients present with metastatic disease and have a 5-year event-free survival of <50%. New approaches with targeted therapy may improve efficacy without increased toxicity. In this review we evaluate 3 promising targeted therapies: (i)(More)
Neuroblastoma is a heterogeneous pediatric tumor thought to arise from the embryonic neural crest. Identification of the cell responsible for propagating neuroblastomas is essential to understanding this often recurrent, rapidly progressing disease. We have isolated and characterized putative tumor-initiating cells from 16 tumors and bone marrow metastases(More)
BACKGROUND Neuroblastomas are characterized by chromosomal alterations with biological and clinical significance. We analyzed paired blood and primary tumor samples from 22 children with high-risk neuroblastoma for loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and DNA copy number change using the Affymetrix 10K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. FINDINGS Multiple(More)