We are examining the genes that control initiation and progression of murine medulloblastomas that result from loss of patched. Approximately 25% of human medulloblastomas have mutations in patched or in other elements of the sonic hedgehog pathway. However, the cells from which these tumors originate (neural progenitors or stem cells), the cells that are responsible for tumor propagation (cancer stem cells), and the genes that are required for tumor progression are poorly understood. To address these questions, we have developed conditional patched knockout mice in which the gene is deleted in neural stem cells or progenitors. In addition, we have isolated a population of tumor-propagating cells from these tumors. By studying these models we will gain insight into the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and identify new targets for therapy.