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Oncotarget. 2015 May 20;6(14):12740-7.

A standardized autopsy procurement allows for the comprehensive study of DIPG biology.

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Research Center for Genetic Medicine, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
Division of Pathology, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
Institute for Biomedical Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.
Department of Neuro Oncology, Riley hospital for Children, Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Brain Tumor Institute, Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, USA.
Department of Integrative Systems Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.


Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is one of the least understood and most deadly childhood cancers. Historically, there has been a paucity of DIPG specimens for molecular analysis. However, due to the generous participation of DIPG families in programs for postmortem specimen donation, there has been a recent surge in molecular analysis of newly available tumor specimens. Collaborative efforts to share data and tumor specimens have resulted in rapid discoveries in other pediatric brain tumors, such as medulloblastoma, and therefore have the potential to shed light on the biology of DIPG. Given the generous gift of postmortem tissue donation from DIPG patients, there is a need for standardized postmortem specimen accrual to facilitate rapid and effective multi-institutional molecular studies.We developed and implemented an autopsy protocol for rapid procurement, documenting and storing these specimens. Sixteen autopsies were performed throughout the United States and Canada and processed using a standard protocol and inventory method, including specimen imaging, fixation, snap freezing, orthotopic injection, or preservation. This allowed for comparative clinical and biological studies of rare postmortem DIPG tissue specimens, generation of in vivo and in vitro models of DIPG, and detailed records to facilitate collaborative analysis.


autopsy; brainstem glioma; diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG); histone 3; orthotopic injection

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