Catapult Award Project Details

Dr. Ranjit Bindra – Yale University School of Medicine 

CureSearch Catapult Award: 2018-2021 

Focus: High-grade glioma  

Project Title: Exploiting mutant IDH1/2-induced DNA repair defects in pediatric glioma 

Project Overview: Pediatric glioma is an aggressive type of brain cancer that has a very low 5-year survival rate of less than 25%. Dr. Bindra is testing a novel drug in pediatric patients with a specific subtype of glioma that makes it sensitive to chemotherapy by inhibiting the PARP gene that is involved in repairing DNA mutations. PARP inhibitors make the cancer more sensitive to standard therapies, lowering the dosage needed and associated long-term toxicity when used in combination with chemotherapy. Dr. Bindra’s cutting-edge study has the potential to improve long-term survival rates and reduce toxicity in pediatric glioma patients and lead to a potential shift in treatment standards. 

Dr. Bindra is partnering with the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) to administer the clinical trial at 18 pediatric cancer centers in the U.S. enrolling 45 patients. The study is proposed to take 3 years to complete. Dr. Bindra will also collaborate with Teen Cancer America, an advocacy group dedicated to AYA patient survivorship, to share the study’s results. 

Project Update: Dr. Bindra has opened his clinical trial for enrollment at six different sites: 

  • Yale University 
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Johns Hopkins University 
  • Oregon Health & Sciences University 
  • Washington University, St. Louis 
  • University of California, San Francisco 

Project Update: As of January 2021:

  • Dr. Bindra’s clinical trial is now active at the University of California San Francisco, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Washington University St. Louis, Johns Hopkins University, Oregon Health & Sciences University, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Yale University. Five patients have been enrolled on the study. 
  • Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Bindra and colleagues continue to make excellent progress on this exciting project, which represents a bench-to-bedside translation of cutting-edge science into the clinic. Dr. Bindra’s major focus continues to be increasing patient accrual for this study which aims to treat a patient population of high unmet need in clinical trials, adolescents and young adults.  
  • Dr. Bindra’s team has included a comprehensive set of correlative studies in this trial, including oncometabolite and genomic profiling, using cutting-edge techniques. They have incorporated a phase 0 component in the trial, which will allow them to assess for CNS and intratumoral penetration of the drug in selected patients. Notably, Dr. Bindra has begun receiving patient specimens for analysis at Yale. 


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