This Pediatric Glioma has no known cure. Dr. Breunig is Taking on the Challenge.

Dr. Joshua Breunig, Cedars-Sinai is a 2024 CureSearch Acceleration Initiative Awardee
Dr. Joshua Breunig, PhD, of Cedars-Sinai, is a 2024 CureSearch Acceleration Initiative Awardee

The urgent need for advanced childhood brain cancer research

G34R-mutant pediatric diffuse glioma, a devastating brain cancer affecting children and young adults, poses significant challenges in treatment due to its aggressive nature, limited therapeutic options, and the long-term side effects. The urgent need for more effective treatment options drives researchers, like Dr. Joshua Breunig, to innovate.

One major obstacle in developing these treatments has been the absence of accurate preclinical models for testing potential therapies. Dr. Breunig’s groundbreaking approach, utilizing MADR (Mosaic Analysis with Dual Recombinases), enables the creation of personalized brain tumor models, including those mimicking H3 G34-mutant glioma, providing valuable insights into tumor behavior.

Dr. Breunig’s CureSearch funding

Dr. Breunig is a 2024 CureSearch Acceleration Initiative Awardee. In his CureSearch-funded work, Dr. Breunig proposes to use the MADR modeling platform along with matched human pediatric glioma tumor cell lines to test ADI-PEG 20 as a targeted therapeutic for pediatric glioma in combination with standard-of-care treatment. He believes that this approach will hinder tumor growth and lead to anti-tumor toxicity.

Our Acceleration Initiative projects are highly innovative, address a significant challenge in pediatric cancer drug development, and have an extremely strong probability of clinical application in an accelerated timeframe. These pre-clinical projects are ready to reach patients within 3 to 5 years. Learn more about our unique and highly-impactful research strategy.

Uncovering new breakthroughs on the path to a cure

Dr. Breunig’s research has revealed a significant vulnerability in pediatric gliomas: their dependence on external sources of arginine for survival. Building upon this discovery, he is investigating the potential of ADI-PEG 20, an enzyme that reduces arginine levels in the body, as a targeted therapeutic combined with standard-of-care treatments. The promising outcomes of his research hold potential for a transformative shift in the treatment approach for pediatric glioma patients. Collaborating with fellow experts, Dr. Breunig is actively preparing for a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of ADI-PEG 20 in pediatric glioma patients, with the aim of improving survival outcomes and offering hope to families navigating this critical disease.

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