Innovative Researcher Awarded CureSearch Catapult Award

Innovative Researcher Awarded CureSearch Catapult Award

$1 million grant will fund clinical trial for pediatric glioma patients

This month, CureSearch proudly announced our inaugural Catapult Award recipient – Dr. Ranjit Bindra of the Yale Cancer Center. The CureSearch Catapult Awards are designed to propel high-potential pediatric cancer treatments through clinical trials and to our young patients, helping them lead long, healthy lives. This nearly $1 million grant will fund a phase 1 clinical trial testing a novel treatment for pediatric glioma, an aggressive brain cancer with a 5-year survival rate of less than 25%.

Dr. Bindra in a research lab

With a goal to improve long-term survival rates and overall quality of life, this exciting new trial could create a shift in current treatment standards. Dr. Bindra’s study will test a novel drug for pediatric patients who have a specific subtype of glioma called an IDH1/2 mutation. The drug will make the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy, allowing the patient to receive lower doses of chemo โ€“ which would ultimately reduce damaging long-term side effects that are common with pediatric glioma patients.

The study will help children like Camryn Saal, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at just 7-years-old. Camryn survived but at the time, she had only a 20 percent chance of survival โ€“ a percentage that Dr. Bindra hopes to significantly increase through his research. This grant will provide families like the Saals with the hope that their children too will survive this terrible disease.

“There was an 80% chance our daughter was not going to make it through her battle. No child should face those odds. This funding provides hope that we can prevent families from dealing with the struggles our family dealt with Camryn’s diagnosis,” said Andrew Saal, Camryn’s father.

Dr. Bindra has an established history with CureSearch as a highly productive Young Investigator Award recipient from 2015-2017, and we’re thrilled to support him in this next stage of research, bringing his work one step closer to the child patients who need it most. Hear more from Dr. Bindra about this exciting research:

“I was fortunate to have been awarded a Young Investigator award, and eventually a Catapult Award. These awards let you build critical laboratory infrastructure and momentum, ultimately supporting work that directly translates into the clinic,” said Dr. Bindra. “There are very few groups that support pediatric cancer research with the level of innovation, enthusiasm and passion that CureSearch does.”

Dr. Bindra will partner with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium to administer the clinical trial at 18 pediatric cancer centers in the U.S.

CureSearch would like to thank the Jacob Koenigs “Jakefest” Memorial Fund/Kiewit and Brains for Hope for their generous support toward this inaugural award.

For more information on CureSearch’s research programs visit or follow along on Facebook or Twitter for the latest CureSearch news and updates.

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