The ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation will be funding a new research project at the Children’s Brain Tumor Project over the next three years. The highly competitive “Game Changer” award is a multi-year grant ($600,000 over three years) that allows researchers to spend more of their time in the lab and less time seeking additional funding for future years.
“Working collaboratively with other families and foundations in the DIPG community, we’ve been able to amplify our capacity to make significant investments in DIPG-specific research. We are thrilled to be able to offer this grant to Dr. Souweidane’s team and foster the next generation of DIPG researchers,” said co-founder Jenny Mosier.
The project, “Development of a Comprehensive Direct Drug Delivery Platform for the Treatment of Diffuse Midline Glioma,” aims to design novel and effective therapeutic protocols for patients with diffuse midline gliomas. To accomplish this, Dr. Souweidane’s game-changing strategy will consist of using a comprehensive set of drug delivery and drug imaging methods, including convection-enhanced delivery (CED), focused ultrasound BBB disruption (FUS-BBBD), intra-arterial delivery (IA), and intrathecal delivery (IT) that will more effectively target DIPG tumor sites, while avoiding the toxicities associated with conventional administration of drug therapies.
Drug delivery is key to effectively treating children impacted by DIPG due to the location of this particular tumor, and its retainment of the blood brain barrier (BBB). The BBB drastically reduces the likelihood of drugs ever reaching the tumor when administered via standard systemic delivery. This is the first-ever comprehensive study of a wide range of alternative drug delivery mechanisms to determine the ideal approach for bypassing the BBB to effectively attack this type of brain tumor, while simultaneously lowering toxicity as a result of avoiding systemic delivery.
“I am honored and grateful that the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation is supporting this work,” said Dr. Souweidane. “My team and I expect the establishment of this drug delivery platform to act as an incubator for the translation of many cutting-edge therapies to early-stage clinical trials in the fight against DIPG.”