Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation and PBTF Partner Again to Fund Cutting-Edge Medulloblastoma Research
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) has received a $150,000 grant from the Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation (CBJOLF) to fund medulloblastoma research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Medulloblastoma is an incredibly complex form of pediatric brain cancer, with recent research uncovering an entire series of previously unknown subtypes. However, research such as the new PBTF-funded PRiME trial at Duke University demonstrates the progress being made to treat this disease.
Massachusetts General Hospital’s research project will study critical gene regulation programs that drive Group 3 medulloblastoma. This tumor subtype comprises 30% of all medulloblastoma cases and is associated with the poorest prognosis.
“With the support of the Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, my team and I are working to understand the mechanisms that control abnormal gene regulation programs in these tumors. A better understanding of these pathways may point to much needed new therapeutic approaches,” said Miguel N. Rivera, MD, Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Department of Pathology. “We are grateful for their support and excited about the progress this new partnership could yield for kids and families facing this devastating diagnosis.”
In August 2009, Christopher Brandle was diagnosed with a particularly resistant form of medulloblastoma and passed away after seven months. He was only ten years old. His parents, Brian and Mary Brandle, founded CBJOLF to fund research in his honor and previously partnered with the PBTF to fund the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s research of novel therapeutic strategies for MYC-amplified medulloblastoma.
"We are delighted to work with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital to power such a worthy project,” said the Brandles. “Massachusetts General Hospital is where Christopher received radiation therapy, and we are happy to be giving back in his memory."
This new grant will fund Massachusetts General Hospital’s use of innovative genomic and gene editing technologies to build comprehensive maps of gene regulation networks in Group 3 medulloblastoma cells and to directly test the function of key regulatory elements and their associated target genes.
“The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s research funding has fueled clinical trials, launched cutting-edge collaboratives and seeded the field for future discovery. However, collaborating to fund research is the only way we will truly defeat pediatric brain cancer, the deadliest disease facing children in this country,” said Dr. Joanne Salcido, PBTF’s vice president of research and advocacy. “We are grateful to partner once again with Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation in our shared pursuit of a cure.”
Visit www.curethekids.org/research to learn more about this Opportunity grant and other PBTF research programs.