Looking for DIPG’s weak spots

This project was selected in the framework of our fourth European call: FIGHT KIDS CANCER 2023. It is jointly financed by Imagine for Margo, Kriibskrank Kanner Fondatioun, CRIS Cancer Foundation, KiKa and KickCancer.

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Brain tumours are among the most common and deadly solid tumours in children, adolescents, and young adults. Despite improvements in treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy, the outlook for patients with a high-risk tumour is poor. This is especially true for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (or ‘DIPGs’) which are almost completely incurable.

One obstacle to the development of efficient therapies for DIPGs was the lack of appropriate in-vitro models recapitulating with accuracy the characteristics of DIPGs. Moreover, most treatments used for this disease were developed for adults and show limited effect on children.

Recently, the development of what is called “organoids” or miniature replication of human organs, has paved the way to a reliable and faster technique to test new drugs preclinically as it can test up to thousands of drugs in one batch.

It has already been demonstrated that DIPG has a specific epigenetic profile; this project will also attempt to identify epigenetic dependencies and vulnerabilities of DIPGs.

Epigenetics is the science which explains gene coding: it allows us to understand why cells with the same genetic code have different functions inside someone’s body. Think about a very long book from which some words would be highlighted in different colours to create several alternative plots.

As a result, this project will set the basis for the development of novel and personalised therapeutic strategies for this paediatric disease.

Looking for DIPG’s weak spots

  • Financed: €500 000
    More than 85% of your donations go to financing research and supporting our advocacy work, less than 15% go to administration.
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Countries: France, Austria
  • Disease: Diffuse Intrisic Pontine Gliomas
  • Status: Ongoing

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