In 2014, The TLC Foundation announced the launch of a new pediatric brain tumor research fellowship at The Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.
The Ty Louis Campbell Fellow joined the research team at the Children’s Brain Tumor Project in July 2014, led by Co-Directors Dr. Mark Souweidane and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, who are investigating novel approaches to treating inoperable pediatric brain tumors such as DIPG, gliomatosis cerebri, and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT). The Ty Louis Campbell Fellowship is a two-year $130,000 grant to support Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield’s research in precision medicine to genomically sequence these inoperable tumors to identify the best treatment approaches for each patient.
The Children’s Brain Tumor Project brings the advances of precision medicine together with Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED), an innovative delivery method to attack the tumor site while minimizing toxicity to surrounding healthy cells. Dr. Souweidane is currently conducting a clinical trial testing the safety of this methodology for DIPG.
TLC is proud to report the renewal of the two-year fellowship in 2016.
In 2014, TLC partnered with the St. Baldrick's Foundation and awarded funding for a three-year pre-clinical research project to Dr. Samuel Cheshier, Stanford University, totaling $330,000.
Dr. Cheshier’s work utilizes combinations of immune therapies to target malignant pediatric brain tumors. These treatments allow the immune system cells called macrophages to specifically target and “eat” the cancer cells while leaving normal tissues unharmed. The research goal is to develop these treatments in order to replace chemotherapy and irradiation, which are less specific to the cancer and more harmful to the patients than his proposed immune therapies.
The study focuses on combination therapies using antibodies called anti-CD47 and anti-CD40. When utilized in combination in mouse models, there was significant synergistic effect when compared to utilizing either agent alone.
This funding has allowed the research team to take the preliminary steps in being able to provide treatments that have proven results in some adult cancers including metastatic melanoma and lung cancer, and test for efficacy in pediatric brain cancer. The goal is to continue these efforts and to fully realize the potential of immunotherapies by bringing these novel treatments to the clinic.
A recent report was published in the Wiley Online Library (April 2016) citing some of the resulting work from this study pertaining to glioblastoma. Read more.
A 2016 update report on the research progress can be downloaded here.
The TLC Foundation, in collaboration with like-minded nonprofits A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure and Solving Kids' Cancer, are funding a new clinical trial for childen with brain tumors using combination immunotherapy that targets controlling factors in the body’s immune system called checkpoints for a total investment of $185,000.
Checkpoints are immune inhibitory receptors on immune cells (T-cells) that help prevent autoimmunity. However, tumors “hijack” these checkpoints to protect against immune attack of the cancer. Tumor-specific T-cells become exhausted and unresponsive and cancer progresses unchecked.
Checkpoint inhibitors are therapeutic antibodies that block the inhibitory receptor signaling and restore the capacity of T-cells to kill cancer. Our new clinical trial for children with brain tumors will target two types of checkpoint receptors - (PD1 and CTLA4) using a combination of targeted antibodies.
This combination treatment targets the immune system rather than the cancer itself. Checkpoint combination therapy has been the most exciting breakthrough in cancer research this decade. Adults with previously untreatable cancers like metastatic melanoma and lung cancer have been cured in clinical trials.
Led by Dr. Ira Dunkel at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the international trial will be open for enrollment at six esteemed cancer centers including Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins/Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Colorado Children's Hospital, Great Ormond Street (UK) and Institut Curie (Paris). READ MORE...
Ewing sarcoma is a bone cancer that is most frequently found in children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. Tumors often originate in the long, large bones of the body, including the hip, thigh, shin, chest, and arm bones.
Besides originating from the bone, sometimes this tumor can form just outside the bone in the soft tissue. The cancer can also metastasize to other sites including the lungs, other bones or soft tissue areas, and bone marrow, making the disease more difficult to treat and resulting in significantly lower survival rates.
At the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, we support the groundbreaking work of Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to help find a cure for this disease. In 2016, TLC has pledged to provide financial support to help bring new targeted therapies to patients battling Ewing Sarcoma.
Dr. Stegmaier's team has identified a new drug class that is highly active in Ewing sarcoma cells, targeting proteins called CDK 7, 12, and 13. These proteins are important in the expression of genes in the cell and also in the control of DNA damage. To learn more about how the team intends to bring these breakthroughs to clinic, click here.
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