What needs to be understood about neurofibromas?
More information is needed about the normal behavior of neurofibromas: what stimulates their growth, what sustains their growth, and what makes them stop growing. These studies will begin in September 1998 with a study of plexiform neurofibromas coordinated by Bruce Korf, MD, a pediatric neurologist and geneticist at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital, who also serves as the Chairman of the NNFF Clinical Care Advisory Board (see related article on page ). In addition, a natural history study of vestibular schwannomas in NF2 is expected to be announced shortly by the US Army’s NF Research Program. Understanding the control switches that underlie the unique ability of neurofibromas to begin to grow and then suddenly start or stop may provide researchers with an opportunity to devise strategies for stopping tumor growth. If scientists know what causes tumors to stop growing, an appropriate therapy could be developed and tested, according to Dr. Gutmann. In addition, other e