Home » Grants support development of novel treatment for children’s cancer
The grant funding will help support Su’s research on two aggressive types of brain tumors – glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Pediatric patients with these types of cancers have less than a 20 percent survival rate
August 1, 2011 – Baylor College of Medicine, From the Labs
Developing new therapies for pediatric cancers that are resistant to treatment is the focus of two research grants awarded to Baylor College of Medicine physician-scientists by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.
Dr. Jason Shohet and Dr. Jack Su each received $100,000 grants from the nonprofit organization. Both are assistant professors of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM and are part of the Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
The grant funding will help support Su’s research on two aggressive types of brain tumors – glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Pediatric patients with these types of cancers have less than a 20 percent survival rate. Su and his collaborators hypothesize that these tumors are resistant to treatment because an enzyme called poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, or PARP, allows the tumors to effectively repair damaged DNA after chemotherapy and radiation.
Shohet will use the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer grant to help fund his research on neuroblastoma, a disease that accounts for almost 15 percent of pediatric cancer deaths. He will test a novel strategy using two drugs that do not damage DNA to alter two different genetic pathways that are active in neuroblastoma. One drug serves to activate the p53 pathway that has itself been shown to be effective against neuroblastoma, and the other drug blocks the P13K pathway, which is a key pathway for tumor growth and proliferation.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a nonprofit organization started by Gretchen and Larry Witt after their son Liam was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Learn more about the organization at www.cookiesforkidscancer.org.