Dr Bing Hu is an ameloblastoma specialist and helped us put together our new information about ameloblastoma. We caught up with him to find out more.
How did you come to specialise in ameloblastoma research?
When I was a dental student and lately a dentist, I had always wondered why ameloblastoma happens at specific anatomical sites and young populations. At that time (even till now), surgery is almost the only solution to remove the tumour therefore the patients do suffer a lot.
Very little progress has been made on the research of amelobolastoma's etiology, partially due to the fact that the researches on this kind of tumour are under-funded.
It is very exciting that several groups have already reported that Ameloblastoma can bear specific mutated genes such as Braf, a gene whose mutation can readily be found in the other kind of cancers such as melanoma. However, the function of these gene mutations, particularly in ameloblastoma development and relapse is unknown.
What is the importance of high-quality information about ameloblastoma?
Although ameloblastoma is still considered as benign tumours, the fact that this kind of tumour and its usual destructive surgical therapy urge us to provide the patients better scientific and clinical information that can eventually help them to recover quickly and prevent relapse, as well as prevent tumour growth at it early stage.
All this requires a joint efforts of researchers and clinician to formulate a translational sophisticated solution.
How did you help the team at the Bone Cancer Research Trust put together the new information about ameloblastoma?
Actually I was quite excited that BCRT is going to build up a biobank on bone cancers and including ameloblastoma. I fully understand the difficulties to perform such a valuable project and have been discussing with the BCRT team for how to collaborate and participate the program. In addition, I have helped in updating the BCRT patient information document based on my knowledge and professional views on ameloblastoma.