Combination Drug Therapy For Childhood Brain Tumors Shows Promise In Laboratory Models

In experiments with human cells and mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center report evidence that combining the experimental cancer medication TAK228 (also called sapanisertib) with an existing anti-cancer drug called trametinib may be more effective than either drug alone in decreasing the growth of pediatric low-grade gliomas. These cancers are the most common childhood brain cancer, accounting for up to one-third of all cases. Low grade pediatric gliomas arise in brain cells (glia) that support and nourish neurons, and current standard chemotherapies with decades-old drugs, while generally effective in lengthening life, often carry side effects or are not tolerated. Approximately 50% of children treated with traditional therapy have their tumors regrow, underscoring the need for better, targeted treatments.

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The Pediatric Cancer Genome Project at 10: The impact lives on

Ten years ago this week St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine unveiled an ambitious collaboration to identify the genetic changes that lead to some of the world’s deadliest childhood cancers. The researchers proposed a three-year, $65 million project to sequence the complete normal and cancer genomes of more than 600 childhood cancer patients.

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Partnership with China prompts change in care for high-risk type of leukemia

Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Chinese Children’s Cancer Group led the first randomized, Phase III clinical trial comparing targeted therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) driven by the Philadelphia chromosome. Results showed that the drug dasatinib provides more benefit than the standard of care, which led to changes in the way this leukemia is treated. The findings were reported today in JAMA Oncology.

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$150K Pledge from Om Foundation to Support Pediatric Cancer Research at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

A $150,000 pledge from the Om Foundation will aid investigators at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in examining a certain type of medication that impacts gene activity in the treatment of a form of pediatric brain cancer.

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Research on firearm injuries to U.S. children gets 30 times less funding per death than other causes

Firearm injuries kill 2,500 American children each year. But the nation spends far less on studying what led to these injuries, and what might prevent and treat them, than it spends on other causes of death in children. In fact, on a per-death basis, funding for pediatric firearm research is 30 times lower than it would have to be to keep pace with research on other child health threats.

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Algorithm Reduces Need for Therapy in Children With Intermediate-Risk Neuroblastoma

Roswell Park’s Dr. Clare Twist led an effort to develop and validate a new treatment algorithm for infants and children with neuroblastoma. In a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the team reports that many patients can safely receive less extensive therapy.

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