Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) represent the most agressive form of brain cancer and the third most common malignant brain tumor in children. The location of these tumors in the brainstem and the very infiltrative diffusion in normal structures precludes surgical resection and chemotherapy fails to contain tumour growth.
Based on previous data, we hypothesized that the invasive phenotype of DIPG relies upon the interaction of cancer cells with normal neuroglial cells (oligodendrocytes, astrocytes or even neurons).
Therefore, DIPG mouse models have been developed, using orthotopic xenograft models or syngenic mouse tumors after viral transduction of specific oncogenes (Histone H3 and PTEN). In these models, we are currently studying the diffusion of tumoral grafts in the mouse brain and the interaction between tumoral cellsand glial cells or neurons by a morphological and imunohistochemical approach.