Genetic mutations that can cause fatal cancers in children have been identified by researchers.
Scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre believe the discovery could help to transform the treatment of paediatric cancers such as glioblastoma.
Dr Nada Jabado, the lead researcher in the study, noted that conventional treatments have often been ineffective in treating cancer in children.
She stated that her team's findings go some way towards explaining why this has been the case.
"It is clear now that glioblastoma in children is due to different molecular mechanisms than those in adults and should not be treated in the same way," Dr Jabado commented.
She added that the mutations stop the cells from "differentiating normally", which means a tumour's genetic information is protected.
As a result, chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not always have a significant impact on these cancers.
According to Cancer Research UK, almost 100 kinds of brain tumour have been discovered.