CDI Researchers Now Part of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium
CDI-funded researchers Joshua Rubin, MD, PhD, pediatrics and neuroscience; David D. Limbrick, MD, PhD, neurological surgery and pediatrics; and Karen Gauvain, MD, pediatrics, now have access to the prestigious consortium's shared data, expertise and resources regarding brain tumor biology and possible new treatments.
"Being a part of the consortium brings cutting-edge brain tumor therapies to the children of St. Louis and the surrounding region," says Dr. Rubin, who is co-director of the School of Medicine's pediatric neuro-oncology program, along with Dr. Limbrick.
In 2009, using CDI funding, Dr. Rubin helped create the School of Medicine's Brain Tumor Bank. In 2015, Dr. Rubin's lab launched a CDI-funded study to test the hypothesis that some pediatric brain tumors are associated not only with genetic changes in tumors, but also with what are colled epigenetic changes. These are environmental changes that occur on the proteins that regulate how DNA works in tissue.
This February, Drs. Limbrick and Gauvain were granted CDI funding to take on one of the biggest obstacles in treating pediatric brain tumors: the blood-brain barrier, which keeps chemotherapy drugs from penetrating the brain. A minimally invasive laser procedure, called magnetic resonance imaging-guided laser ablasion (MLA), disrupts the blood-brain barrier in adults, allowing the penetration of chemotherapy drugs into the tumor. The purpose of this study is to examine the outcomes of pediatric brain tumor patients who are treated with MLA and chemotherapy. The study also will test whether MLA’s therapeutic effects are due to enhanced infiltration of immune cells, a result of blood-brain barrier disruption.
Click here to learn more about the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium.