Ian’s Friends Foundation Brain Tumor Biorepository at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: The biorepository will provide the technology to grow and store cancer cells for use in critical brain tumor research at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s, and research facilities across the country.
IFF is committed to supporting research that will improve the treatment and outcomes of pediatric brain tumors. After years of supporting research, we found that the lack of available cells for research remains a major impediment to finding cures for childhood tumors. We set out to fund a pediatric tumor biorepository that facilitates sharing cells for research, with the goal of fostering collaboration between medical institutions, universities and hospitals around the world.
Dr. Tobey MacDonald, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program Director at Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and with Emory School of Medicine, says “Children’s is an ideal home for this biorepository as we perform more pediatric brain tumor surgeries than almost any other hospital in the nation. Research is a cornerstone of our mission. We seek answers to the most challenging childhood conditions through teaching and research that will help kids worldwide.”
Since it’s formation in 2014, the biorepository has been expanded to include the study of genetic profiles of the cancer stem cells isolated with their corresponding drug sensitivity profile. As a result of the biorepository, 2 new mutations in the MET oncogene in pediatric glioblastoma have been discovered. Identifying key mutations of the cancer stem cells will allow for tailored treatment plans based on the individual’s genetic “stem-cell profile” of their disease and represents great promise for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.
Attacking the Cancer Stem Cell to Eradicate Pediatric Brain Tumors: This lab focuses on identifying the genetic profiles of the cancer stem cells isolated with their corresponding drug sensitivity profiles; eventually, patients will be treated in “real-time” based solely on the stringent genetic profile patterns of their cancer stem cells.