Juliana Hofstatter Azambuja, PhD

Funded in partnership with WWE in honor of Connor’s Cure

Diffuse midline glioma (DMG) is a devastating and aggressive type of brain tumor that primarily affects children and young adults. Despite advancements in medical research, DMG remains a medical challenge with limited treatment options and a poor outcomes. Considering these difficulties, there is an urgent unmet need to develop new and innovative therapies for DMG. One promising avenue for discovery is the exploration of targeted agents that disrupt key signaling pathways involved in tumor progression without affecting the healthy normal cells in the brain. Our previous work has identified a potential new therapeutic target that could be leveraged in this way to specifically combat this tumor. New drugs that selectively inhibit this aberrant signaling pathway show great potential for slowing down the growth of DMG cells, thus creating a new opportunity for intervention. In these proposed studies, we will explore precisely how this intracellular signaling pathway controls cancer progression. Further, we will test in the lab whether treatment with new drugs designed to inhibit this pathway can halt DMG tumor growth. We hope that our studies inform the use of new targeted drugs to treat this devastating childhood cancer and thereby drive advancement of patient care and redefine the treatment of DMG.

Location: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (UPMC) - Pittsburgh
Proposal: MALT1 as a therapeutic target in H3K27M-mutant Diffuse Midline Glioma
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