See also our related blog for the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

JMCCF funds Rhabdomyosarcoma Research

We are grateful to the Joanna McAfee Childhood Cancer Foundation for our new 2012 research grant of $12,000 for the project, "60 by 60: Finding the Very Best Targeted Therapy Combination for Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma".  JMCCF is a very important organization not only for funding research, but also for supporting families of childhood cancer patients in central Georgia and beyond. 
We are thankful to our long term partners at JMCCF for allowing us to be part of their mission. 

Welcoming Amy!

We are pleased to Amy Paul join our laboratory as a new intern in pediatric oncology translational research. Amy is a recent graduate of the OHSU School of Nursing and will be functioning in important roles for our childhood tumor bank & registry as well as a canine personalized sarcoma therapy trial.  
in her own words:

"My interest in working in pediatric oncology first arose in 2008 when I spent my first summer during nursing school as a volunteer camp counselor at a camp for children with cancer. For 8 days, I bonded with 18 middle-school aged girls all affected by cancer in some way either as a patient, survivor or as a sibling, I then realized that this was my hearts calling in life as a Registered Nurse and community advocate for cancer. I then started training for a marathon with a local chapter of Team in Training for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society where I recognized and learned the growing importance for cancer research, which deepened my hearts desire to expand my participation in this field of medicine. The ability to directly work with the children and families at Doernbecher's (Children's Hospital) as well in the research lab is an incredible opportunity that will only add to my knowledge and experience in my future nursing practice as I aspire to be a pediatric oncology nurse."
We're excited for Amy to be part of our team and look forward to furthering her career!  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sincere thanks to ABC2 and CureSearch !

In an incerdible development, ABC2 and CureSearch for Children's Cancer have jointly funded a supplement to the our international collaboration entitled, "Rapid Preclinical Development of a Targeted Therapy Combination for DIPG".  The two new sponsor partners provide $76,000 and $25,000, respectively, for a total of $101,000.  Their new supplement will allow us to exon sequencing of all 16 cell lines, their primary tumor and paired normal DNA via the laboratory of Dr. Paul Spellman (OHSU; see his recent functional genomics paper here). From this data we will prioritize combination drug testing on the most clinically ‘representative’ samples (i.e., samples that have classical DIPG findings which are in order: c‐MET amplification, p53 deletion, PDGFRA amplification, IGF1R/IGF2 amplification, CDK4/CDK6 gain or Shh pathway mutation, EGFR amplification or KRAS/NRAS mutation) or cell lines that are most similar overall to one another (i.e., not outliers).
This project is more fully described here and here. This study was originally made possible by a $100,000 grant from TheCureStartsNow. An additional $28,000 supplement from The Lyla Nsouli Foundation for Children’s Brain Cancer Research further allowed our project to expand to the 2 participating European collaborators.  The new $101,000 from  ABC2 and CureSearch for Children's Cancer adds significant new scope to this endeavor.  The interesting aspect is that a large part of the new scope was envisioned by our ABC2 partner's scientific advisory board - an example of the value of scientific and strategic partnership.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Personalized Cancer Therapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors?

Congratulations to Lara for her very thoughtful editorial on this topic, which is now available online.  Don't miss the accompanying Supplemental Table of potentially-actionable biomarkers.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

now in print: EGFR as a Therapeutic Target in Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma

[ first posted 2/11/2011 and now updated]

The report of our Pediatric Preclinical Testing Initiative at OHSU on EGFR as a therapeutic target in the childhood muscle cancer rhabdomyosarcoma has been accepted for publication in the journal, Sarcoma.  Co-authors include Keller Lab alumni Sheila Hampton, Courtney Kubicek, Laura Nelon, Aoife Kilcoyne; statistician collaborators Lee Ann Zarzabal and Joel Michalek; experimental therapeutics collaborator Frank Giles; and pathologist collaborator, Brian Rubin.  This work was funded by the Rally Foundation in honor of Matthew Butterfield.  Trainee Jinu Abraham is also a past Scott Carter Foundation fellow.   
[ update 5/11/2011:  the paper can now be viewed online here. ]
[ update 12/06/2011:  the paper is now in print here.  ]

Monday, December 5, 2011

now in print: Bortezomib acts through NOXA in Medulloblastoma

Congratulations again to lab alumni Sachiko and Monika for the publication this month in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology of our study, "Bortezomib stabilizes NOXA and triggers ROS-associated apoptosis in medulloblastoma".  Co-authors include lab alumni Tohru and Laura.  This was a very exciting study funded by the National Brain Tumor Society and the Hyundai Motor Corporation Hope on Wheels Program (precursor studies were funded by St Baldrick's Foundation).  These results have piqued our interest in similar compounds such as Carfilzomib for pediatric medulloblastoma.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Congratulations, Monika & Sachiko!

Congratulations to lab alumni Sachiko,Monika, Suresh, Laura, Aofe and current lab members Jinu & Sangeet, as well as collaborators Marti Hanes, Frank Giles and Brian Rubin on our study entitled, "Preclinical Testing of Tandutinib in a Transgenic Medulloblastoma Mouse Model" that is now published online in the Journal of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology.  This work was supported by the Rally Foundation in memory of Coleman Larson

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Multi-disciplinary Collaboration

Many thanks to our Boston-area collaborators for partnership in studying biology and new therapeutics for rhabdomyosarcoma.  So much comes from working across disciplines.