CureSearch Research Funding Drives New Brain Cancer Treatments

CureSearch Research Funding Drives
New Brain Cancer Treatments

Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children and accounts for nearly 20% of childhood cancer diagnoses, yet treatments have remained relatively unchanged over the past 30 years. Our research strategy is laser focused on addressing this type of unmet need and ensuring that new treatments move quickly into clinical trials to improve outcomes for children, both now and in the future.

This Brain Tumor Awareness Month, we want to share exciting updates on two CureSearch-funded research projects that are making significant inroads in the development of promising new treatments for pediatric brain tumors.

Richard GilbertsonRichard J. Gilbertson, MD, PhD
Cambridge University

Dr. Gilbertson received a CureSearch Acceleration Initiative Award which funded his project to discover and develop new therapies for high-risk pediatric brain cancers including medulloblastoma, ependymoma and choroid plexus carcinoma. New and existing drugs were tested for these specific diseases, and Dr. Gilbertson identified several promising therapies to guide immediate clinical testing.

Results of this project contributed to the launch of a phase 1 clinical trial testing combination therapies for malignant brain tumors. Dr. Gilbertson’s research directly impacts patients with recurrent, refractory medulloblastoma. The trial, sponsored by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, opened in March 2019.

Learn more about Dr. Gilbertson’s project here.

Ranjit Bindra, MD, PhDRanjit Bindra, MD, PhD
Yale Cancer Center

Supported by a CureSearch Catapult Award, Dr. Bindra and his team are conducting a phase 1 clinical trial testing a new treatment for pediatric glioma, an aggressive brain cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 25 percent. This drug will make the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy, allowing the patient to receive lower doses. If successful, Dr. Bindra’s trial will lead to a far-less-toxic standard of treatment, reducing lifelong damaging side effects for patients and increasing the overall survival rate.

The trial opened in 2019 with the first patient enrolled in early May at the University of California, San Francisco. Up to 17 additional trial sites will open across the country, providing current patients with access to this potential new treatment.

Learn more about Dr. Bindra’s project here.


A resource for families and caregivers, our website contains a wealth of information about brain tumors in children, including types of brain tumors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and life after treatment. Learn more by clicking here.

CureSearch is committed to driving the strongest research and delivering treatments to children, faster. Get involved or give today so children can live longer, healthier lives tomorrow.

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