Late Fall 2022
By Caroline de Lacvivier
Since 1991, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) has helped patients and families cope with a brain cancer diagnosis, offering financial, logistical, and emotional support. In addition, PBTF funds research that accelerates drug discovery. To that end, the foundation awarded more than $600,000 to Dana-Farber’s Mimi Bandopadhayay, MBBS, PhD, director of the PLGA Program, and Keith Ligon, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Patient Derived Models, both of whom are shedding new light on the mechanisms that drive pediatric brain tumors.
Bandopadhayay received two grants covering two promising studies. In the first, she is working with Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD, and Ligon to study cellular interactions within and around pediatric low-grade gliomas (pLGGs). This work, which leverages innovative technology to analyze cells in their native configuration, could help Bandopadhayay and her team identify new treatment vulnerabilities.
In the second, Bandopadhayay is partnering with Beroukhim and Ligon to explore how targeted inhibitors alter the tumor’s makeup over time, an undertaking that could help optimize targeted therapies to overcome resistance and reduce toxicity.
“Thank you, PBTF, for all you’ve done to help our research,” said Bandopadhayay. “This support is redoubling our efforts to find better, safer treatment options for our young patients.”
Ligon received the David Andrysiak Clinical Research Assistant Award to support and grow the Institute’s repository of tissue samples and research models. Cancer studies rely on such models to better understand tumor biology and to develop therapies. Such resources are critical to the patient-oriented, collaborative research he and Bandopadhayay perform.
“The Clinical Research Assistant Award is a tremendous boon for our program. Thanks to PBTF, we can support the people who make our research possible,” said Ligon.
“We are proud to support the pioneering work of Drs. Bandopadhayay, Beroukhim, and Ligon,” said PBTF’s National Director of Research Investments Amy Weinstein. “Studies like theirs give us reason to hope for a world without childhood brain tumors.”