Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 5–24

What underlies the diversity of brain tumors?


DOI: 10.1007/s10555-012-9407-3

Cite this article as:
Swartling, F.J., Hede, SM. & Weiss, W.A. Cancer Metastasis Rev (2013) 32: 5. doi:10.1007/s10555-012-9407-3


Glioma and medulloblastoma represent the most commonly occurring malignant brain tumors in adults and in children, respectively. Recent genomic and transcriptional approaches present a complex group of diseases and delineate a number of molecular subgroups within tumors that share a common histopathology. Differences in cells of origin, regional niches, developmental timing, and genetic events all contribute to this heterogeneity. In an attempt to recapitulate the diversity of brain tumors, an increasing array of genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) has been developed. These models often utilize promoters and genetic drivers from normal brain development and can provide insight into specific cells from which these tumors originate. GEMMs show promise in both developmental biology and developmental therapeutics. This review describes numerous murine brain tumor models in the context of normal brain development and the potential for these animals to impact brain tumor research.


Development Medulloblastoma Glioma Murine model Transgene 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck LaboratoryUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Department NeurosurgeryUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.Brain Tumor Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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