New Ependymoma Research Effort Included in NBTS Flagship Research Project, DNA Damage Response (DDR) Consortium

— Categories: CERN Research Articles   Press Release     Posted on April 12, 2023

National Brain Tumor Society’s DNA Damage Response (DDR) Consortium is a collaboration of world-class researchers advancing an emerging and promising, but underdeveloped, area of cancer research: a tumor’s DDR network.

National Brain Tumor Society’s DNA Damage Response (DDR) Consortium has the ability to cultivate this budding area of research and propel an entirely new class of treatments forward for both adults and children with multiple different types of malignant brain tumors, including ependymoma. We are pleased to announce that a new ependymoma research effort at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be among the consortium’s projects.

The consortium will test different drugs in the laboratory, share data, and then bring the most promising drugs forward to evaluate in clinical trials that match the right drugs with the right patients. The consortium is made up of a diverse team of world-class researchers from across the United States with unparalleled expertise and the experience needed to rapidly develop and advance these drugs.

Recently, the National Brain Tumor Society announced exciting new additions to the DNA Damage Response Consortium. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the four new world class hospitals joining the consortium.  The ependymoma research component of the DDR Consortium is supported by the CERN Foundation, a program of the National Brain Tumor Society, and will incorporate drug testing in ependymoma models to see if drugs called DNA Damage Response inhibitors would help identify new therapeutic targets. Leveraging the efforts of the larger DDR Consortium by incorporating an ependymoma component is a strategic effort to leverage the resources of a large and expert consortium, with expertise in advanced scientific methods, to better serve a rare brain tumor population like ependymoma. 

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Project Details

Project Leads: Anang Shelat, PhD; Chris Tinkle, MD, PhD; Stephen Mack, PhD

Project Focus: The team from St. Jude has expertise in DDR, chemical biology, developmental neurobiology, and screening and bioinformatics. Together, they will focus on the toughest types of pediatric brain tumors, including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)/diffuse midline glioma (DMG), atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), and childhood ependymomas. The pediatric ependymoma work will be funded through the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network, a program of NBTS. Specifically, the team will test multiple types of DDR-inhibiting drugs like ATR, ATM, and PARP, inhibitors in addition to others in combination, with different DNA damaging agents, like chemotherapy and radiation, in laboratory models. 

Read more about this exciting announcement.

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