CSM’s childhood brain cancer research set to get a huge boost

Thanks to a significant donation by the Société des Bains de Mer European Games Syndicate, the Scientific Centre of Monaco will be able to purchase the nano technology it needs to speed up its research into childhood brain cancer.

The Stem Cells and Brain Tumors team at the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) is on a mission to better understand how brain tumours appear in children. The team’s recent research showed that “developmental accidents” that occur during foetal life account for a high proportion of cases.

The problem is, the treatments used for children are based systematically on those developed to battle against adult cancers, despite the situations being extremely different.

“The development of therapeutic strategies specific to paediatric cancers therefore represents a necessity and an opportunity to significantly improve their care,” said Dr. Vincent Picco, the leader of the CSM team. “It’s in this goal that we develop our research projects. While waiting for specific medication, the other major challenge in paediatric oncology consists, in the short term, in optimising existing treatments, in particular radiotherapy, with the aim of limiting the side effects.”

In its efforts to better understand the nature of the events responsible for the emergence of embryonic tumours, CSM researchers are utilising genetic analysis using a device called a spectrophotometer.

The SBM European Games Syndicate’s donation will allow the laboratory to upgrade its hardware to the more advanced Nanodrop version. “This kind of spectrophotometer allows us to measure the concentration of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) with high precision, on small volumes of solution of the order of a microlitre – one millionth of a litre, the size of an ant’s head – and very quickly,” explains Dr. Picco. “The use of this spectrophotometer will therefore result in a greater efficiency and significant time savings for the teams and therefore for the development of research programs.”

The official cheque handover will take place on 31st January.

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CSM set to revolutionise treatment of childhood cancer


Photo by Monaco Life