Richard J. Gilbertson

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Cancers are believed to arise from cancer stem cells (CSCs), but it is not known if these cells remain dependent upon the niche microenvironments that regulate normal stem cells. We show that endothelial cells interact closely with self-renewing brain tumor cells and secrete factors that maintain these cells in a stem cell-like state. Increasing the number(More)
Medulloblastoma, a small blue cell malignancy of the cerebellum, is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric oncology. Current mechanisms for clinical prognostication and stratification include clinical factors (age, presence of metastases, and extent of resection) as well as histological subgrouping (classic, desmoplastic, and large(More)
To identify somatic mutations in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), we performed whole-genome sequencing of DNA from seven DIPGs and matched germline tissue and targeted sequencing of an additional 43 DIPGs and 36 non-brainstem pediatric glioblastomas (non-BS-PGs). We found that 78% of DIPGs and 22% of non-BS-PGs contained a mutation in(More)
Tumors of the same histologic type often comprise clinically and molecularly distinct subgroups; however, the etiology of these subgroups is unknown. Here, we report that histologically identical, but genetically distinct, ependymomas exhibit patterns of gene expression that recapitulate those of radial glia cells in the corresponding region of the central(More)
PURPOSE Traditional genetic approaches to identify gene mutations in cancer are expensive and laborious. Nonetheless, if we are to avoid rejecting effective molecular targeted therapies, we must test these drugs in patients whose tumors harbor mutations in the drug target. We hypothesized that gene expression profiling might be a more rapid and(More)
Medulloblastoma is a malignant childhood brain tumour comprising four discrete subgroups. Here, to identify mutations that drive medulloblastoma, we sequenced the entire genomes of 37 tumours and matched normal blood. One-hundred and thirty-six genes harbouring somatic mutations in this discovery set were sequenced in an additional 56 medulloblastomas.(More)
Medulloblastoma encompasses a collection of clinically and molecularly diverse tumour subtypes that together comprise the most common malignant childhood brain tumour. These tumours are thought to arise within the cerebellum, with approximately 25% originating from granule neuron precursor cells (GNPCs) after aberrant activation of the Sonic Hedgehog(More)
Recent work has shown that primary cilia are essential for Hedgehog (Hh) signaling during mammalian development. It is also known that aberrant Hh signaling can lead to cancer, but the role of primary cilia in oncogenesis is not known. Cerebellar granule neuron precursors (GNPs) can give rise to medulloblastomas, the most common malignant brain tumor in(More)
High-grade brain tumors are heterogeneous with respect to the composition of bona fide tumor cells and with respect to a range of intermingling parenchymal cells. Glioblastomas harbor multiple cell types, some with increased tumorigenicity and stem cell-like capacity. The stem-like cells maybe the cells of origin for tumor relapse. However, the(More)
Cancer stem cells are remarkably similar to normal stem cells: both self-renew, are multipotent and express common surface markers, for example, prominin 1 (PROM1, also called CD133). What remains unclear is whether cancer stem cells are the direct progeny of mutated stem cells or more mature cells that reacquire stem cell properties during tumour(More)