NBUK sponsors speaker at ALK meeting

Neuroblastoma UK sponsored Professor Thomas Look (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University) to come to Cambridge on 29th September for a European meeting on ALK-related malignancies. ALK is a gene known to be mutated in a small proportion of neuroblastomas for which new targeted treatments are currently in trial. The meeting was hosted by Dr Suzanne Turner and included an ‘ALK-related neuroblastoma’ session in which Professor Look gave a talk titled ‘Neuroblastoma: MYCN and MYC Commandeer Core Transcriptional Circuitry to Create Dependencies with Therapeutic Implications.’

Professor Look has pioneered the use of the zebrafish cancer model to clarify developmental pathways subverted in neuroblastoma. Compared to the mouse model, zebrafish allow much faster screening for oncogenes and tumour suppressors because of shorter generation times and because their embryos are readily accessible and transparent. Professor Look has made major contributions to understanding MYCN-driven neuroblastoma, in particular the link between MYCN and ALK  and the role of MYCN in driving the transcription of multiple genes at so-called ‘super-enhancer’ regions of tumour DNA.