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Dimitris Placantonakis, NYU School of Medicine, USA
Georgios Giamas and Thomas Simon, University of Sussex, UK
Brain tumors represent a formidable challenge to researchers and clinicians alike. They range from benign types (eg. schwannoma and meningioma) to aggressive malignancies, such as glioblastoma (GBM), which has remained an enigma for decades and for which new research directions are thus needed.
In the past few years we have witnessed the emergence of groundbreaking, novel approaches and findings in the brain tumor field. These include the molecular classification of tumors into distinct subtypes through in-depth molecular and cellular characterization (see 2016 WHO classification); the study of interactions between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment; novel signaling pathways, metabolic vulnerabilities and epigenetic mechanisms regulating tumor initiation and progression; a clearer understanding of mutagenesis and DNA repair in these tumors; and mechanisms that regulate therapy resistance.
Oncogene has published several of these papers that have helped change the landscape in brain tumor research. Here, we have collected some of the research that we think exemplify the progress in the field. Even though this collection is by no means exclusive, we believe they address fundamental questions in the biology of GBM, medulloblastoma and even meningioma, a common but previously understudied benign brain tumor.