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Sarah Szafranski Creating Options for Kids Young

Project Title

Dr. Joelle Straehla Young Investigator’s Grant at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Layman’s summary

While pediatric cancer outcomes have improved in recent decades, children with brain tumors continue to do poorly. For high-grade gliomas, our current treatments can extend life by several months, but less than 5% of patients are cured. Research is advancing quickly, and targeted drugs, such as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, have been found to be effective in the laboratory. However, there are many challenges to bringing these new drugs into the clinic. Most drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a specialized network of blood vessels that regulate nutrients and prevent toxins from reaching the brain. Dr. Straehla’s work focuses on pharmacokinetic properties (how a drug is absorbed, distributed, and eliminated from the body) and pharmacodynamic properties (how a drug specifically works to halt tumor growth) and will provide the high quality data needed to initiate a clinical trial for children with high-grade glioma.

Joelle Straehla

This Project By The Numbers

  • Years Active
    3 years
  • Amount Awarded
  • Institution
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute