Medulloblastoma and glioblastoma are the two common malignant tumors originating in the central nervous system. In addition, brain metastases occur in approximately 30% of patients with systemic malignancies. Despite significant progress in development of treatments for these tumors, the mortality rate is still high. Moreover, patients often suffer from severe long-term side effects from the aggressive treatment. Our research seeks to elucidate genetic/epigenetic mechanisms underlying brain tumor initiation and progression by using animal models, genomic sequencing as well as high-throughput drug screening, with the aim of translating the findings into improved approaches for the treatment of these devastating diseases.

Our ongoing studies address the following questions:

  1. How to treat brain tumors by promoting terminal differentiation of tumor cells?
  2. How cancer cells from extra-cranial malignancies survive and grow in the brain during metastasis?
  3. How to treat brain tumors by de novo synthesis of cisplatin?
  4. What are the mechanisms underlying neuronal regeneration after traumatic brain injury?

Tumor

Zeng jie Yang

Principal Investigator

Zeng-jie Yang, M.D. PH.D. is a Professor in Nuclear Dynamics and Cancer Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Yang research interest focuses on cellular and molecular basis underlying the initiation and progression of brain tumors including primary brain tumors and brain metastasis, and exploration of improved therapeutic strategies for brain tumor treatment.

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Lab News

2024 - The Great Chefs Event in Philadelphia 2024
The Great Chefs Event in Philadelphia 2024 was a remarkable celebration honoring the 20th anniversary of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. This event brought together renowned chefs and food enthusiasts from all over to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. Sponsored by Fox Chase Cancer Center, the evening highlighted the center’s commitment to advancing cancer research and treatment. Members of our laboratory were fortunate to participate in this event. It was inspiring to see the community come together, enjoying delicious food while supporting a cause that aims to make a significant impact in the battle against cancer.


2024 - Dr. Yijun Yang’s Paper Accepted for Publication in Cancer Cell
We are excited to announce that Dr. Yijun (Boris) Yang's groundbreaking paper titled "Thyroid Hormone Suppresses Medulloblastoma Progression Through Promoting Terminal Differentiation of Tumor Cells" has been accepted and recommended for publication in the next issue of the prestigious Cancer Cell Journal. We will share the full publication as soon as it becomes available. Congratulations Boris on this remarkable achievement! (06/2024)


2024 - Silvia Valdes Honored with Outstanding Service Award
Silvia A. Valdes received the Outstanding Service Award for her exceptional contributions to training and outreach activities at Fox Chase Cancer Center. The award was presented during the 27th Annual Research Day on June 21, 2024, recognizing her dedication and impactful service to the scientific community. (06/2024)


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PDLIM3 supports hedgehog signaling in medulloblastoma by facilitating ciliary formation
Zhang, J., Yang, Y.J., Li, X.H., Li, G., Mizukami, T., Liu, Y., Wang, Y., Xu, G.Q., Roder, H., Zhang, L., Yang, Z.J.. Cell Death & Differentiation (2023) PDF in press

Generating a mouse model for relapsed SHH-group medulloblastoma
Heller, A., Du, F., Liu, Y., Yang, Y., Yang, Z.J.. STAR Protocols (2023) in press

Nestin is required for spindle assembly and cell cycle progression in glioblastoma cells
Wang, Q.L., Wu, H., Hu, J., Fu, H., Qu, Y.H., Yang, Y.J., Cai, K., Efimov, A., Wu, M.H., Yen, T., Wang, Y., Yang, Z.J.. Molecular Cancer Research 19(10):1651-1665 (2021) PMCID: PMC8492506 PDF

Tumor cells generate astrocyte-like cells that contribute to SHH-driven medulloblastoma relapse
Guo, D.C., Wang, Y., Cheng, Y., Liao, S., Hu, J., Du, F., Xu, G., Liu, Y., Cai, K., Cheung, M., Wainwright, B.J., Lu, Q., Zhao, Y., Yang, Z.J.. Journal of Experimental Medicine 218(9): e20202350 (2021) PMCID: PMC8282281

Tumor cells generate astrocyte-like cells that contribute to SHH-driven medulloblastoma relapse
Guo, D.C., Wang, Y., Cheng, Y., Liao, S., Hu, J., Du, F., Xu, G., Liu, Y., Cai, K., Cheung, M., Wainwright, B.J., Lu, Q., Zhao, Y., Yang, Z.J.. Journal of Experimental Medicine 218(9): e20202350 (2021) PMCID: PMC8282281 PDF