Grant From Alex’s Lemonade Stand Funds Research on Drug Distribution in CED for DIPG

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Melinda Wang
Melinda Wang

The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to Melinda Wang, a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College, to conduct research into the distribution of the therapeutic agent delivered during convection-enhanced delivery (CED). Wang will be working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Souweidane, whose clinical trial for DIPG has been testing the safety of using CED to get tumor-fighting drugs directly to the site of a brainstem tumor. A special contrast agent can trace large molecules as the drugs are infused, but there has not been a reliable way to measure the concentration of the smallest molecules. Wang, a first-year medical student, will modify two small-molecule kinase inhibitors, dasatinib and everolimus, to allow them to be monitored by positron emission tomography (PET) and near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF). This will provide, for the first time, accurate real-time images of how small-molecule drugs perform when infused during a CED procedure.

Find out more about the DIPG clinical trial

Find out more about Pediatric Neuro-oncology Research at Weill Cornell

Find out more about the Children’s Brain Tumor Project