Dr. Angela Hirbe, Assistant Professor in Medical Oncology at Washington University, was recently awarded a new grant from the Department of Defense to continue her groundbreaking research on malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs).
MPNSTs are highly aggressive cancers that can arise in young adults with the Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) tumor predisposition syndrome. Typically, these tumors develop from plexiform neurofibromas, a diffuse benign nerve sheath tumor seen in one-third of affected individuals. Currently, there are no effective treatments for these deadly cancers, and few reliable ways to monitor the progression from plexiform neurofibroma to MPNST.
In her new grant, Dr. Hirbe and her laboratory will examine the role of chromosome loss in MPNST formation and progression as an initial step toward creating methods to improve our ability to care for people at risk for developing these malignant cancers in NF1.