Inhibiting a key signaling pathway causes permanent damage to bones in young mice, researchers report in this week's issue of linkurl:__Cancer Cell.__; The findings suggest that drugs targeting this pathway, under development for solid tumors, may have unexpected drawbacks if used in children. The finding "was a bit of a shock," said Tom Curran at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and the principal investigator on the study. Curran had been looking at an inhibitor of the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway for its potential therapeutic effects on a childhood brain cancer, medulloblastoma (MB). Approximately a third of patients with MB, predominantly a childhood cancer, have mutations or involvement of Hh pathway genes, which made the antagonist a promising drug target. But while testing the efficacy of the compound in mice, researchers in Curran's lab noticed the treated mice were unusually small. When they x-rayed the mice, they found widespread defects in skeletal...

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