A potential new target for treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

There are some childhood cancers that have experienced few treatment advances in the past decades. The lack of effective treatment options can be a nightmare for patients and their families. The slow pace of translation for promising research from the laboratory to the clinic has created a “pre-clinical gap” meaning that basic scientific research is not reaching children in the clinic. There are some researchers that are seeking to be the bridge and accelerate the pace of the research and the initiation of clinical trials. The Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute is a unique independent non-profit organization focused on the ‘preclinical gap’ in childhood cancer research. Their mission is to bridge scientific discovery and the initiation of clinical trials.

One of the cancers that require urgently more research and treatment options is Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare and brutal tumor of the midbrain. Decades of clinical trials have shown that DIPG tumors are insensitive to traditional chemotherapy.

Dr. Noah Berlow, is a post-doctoral fellow at The Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI, cc-TDI.org) that identified the IL13RA2 gene as a specific target for DIPG cells which is absent in normal brain cells. This discovery opens new avenues to attempt and treat DIPG. This study was recently published in PLOS ONE.

This project took its inspiration and it was done thanks to the support from The Lyla Nsouli Foundation For Children’s Brain Cancer Research and With Purpose, both projects founded by childhood cancer parents.

A strong reminder that as parents we CAN make a difference and find a cure for cancer if we join our forces.

To read more about it click here.