Grants - V Scholar Grants - Tennessee - 2020

Stephen Mack, PhD

Funded by Mark and Cindy Pentecost in memory of Chika Jeune

Pediatric brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer related death in children. Diffuse midline glioma (DMG), a type of childhood brain tumor, is universally fatal. Our lab has demonstrated in mouse models that DMG is responsive to two classes of treatments known as epigenetic and metabolic therapies. A major challenge in patients, however, is that single drugs are unlikely to be effective against this highly aggressive malignancy. Our grant proposal seeks to test the efficacy and biology of a combinatorial treatment of three drugs against DMG in an effort to generate pre-clinical data which could be potentially advanced to clinical trials in patients. In addition, our grant seeks to understand how these therapies influences the population of cells within a given tumor that may confer therapeutic resistance. We envision that these therapeutic and molecular insights will advance our understanding of DMG and lead to novel treatment paradigms.