Through research collaboration, four synergistic research cores focused on discovery, drug development, predictive biomarkers, and innovative clinical trials have been combined and are being driven by world-class teams with proven track records of research accomplishments to accelerate the pace of therapeutic discovery and improve patient survival.
By design, the individual project cores within the overall Defeat Pediatric Brain Tumors initiative provide strategic data-sharing opportunities to inform the overall effort, and advance potential therapies through the drug discovery development process much more quickly. A prototype for precision medicine, Defeat Pediatric Brain Tumors identifies the right biological targets, with the right therapies, for the right patients.
DISCOVERY CORE (MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS & TARGET DISCOVERY):
Led for Dr. Stefan Pfister and Dr. David Jones, German Cancer Center (DKFZ)
Catalyze the process of discovery to build off of new advances in genetic sequencing and expression.
BIOMARKER CORE (IDENTIFICATION & VALIDATION):
Led by Dr. Nada Jabado, McGill University Health Care System
Identify and validate biomarkers for pediatric brain tumors across various modalities, including tumor tissue, liquid biopsy (plasma and other body fluids), imaging, etc.
PRECLINICAL MODELING & DRUG SCREENING CORE:
Led by Dr. Suzanne Baker, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Supported in memory of Sydney Schlobohm and Caroline Peabody
Develop the critically needed, relevant mouse models and translate molecular and drug discovery in animal models into targeted therapies that improve patient survival and outcomes.
SMART TRIALS CORE (N-OF-1 CLINICAL TRIALS):
Drive the creation of biology-focused clinical trials, with new findings from the first three cores informing the design, target population, and testing of treatments. Human data from clinical trials will also provide information back to the preclinical cores and seed the development/refinement of new research.