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Children’s Brain Tumor Project Secures $1 Million Grant

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Patrick Bayly Marsano
Patrick Bayly Marsano was just 10 years old when he succumbed to the deadly brain tumor gliomatosis cerebri.

Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, co-founder of the Weill Cornell Medicine Children’s Brain Tumor Project, was recently awarded a $1.08 million grant from the Patrick Bayly Marsano Foundation. The gift will fund a two-year initiative to expand the lab’s cellular and molecular precision medicine approach to pediatric brain tumor therapy, with a goal of establishing safe, curative patient-specific therapies for devastating pediatric brain tumors, including gliomatosis cerebri, which claimed young Patrick’s life.

Clinicians, computational biologists, neuroscientists, immunologists, biochemists, and stem cell biologists will work together to conduct next-generation sequencing on every pediatric brain tumor resected at Weill Cornell Medicine — an anticipated 50 to 80 children. They will identify new mutations specific to the cell population and to the patient, and create cell repositories and mouse models to test different targeted therapeutics. Following a comprehensive review of the genetics, cell biology and pharmacogenomics of patient-specific tumors, a customized therapeutic regimen will be determined for each patient.

Brain tumors are the most common tumors found in children, and the most fatal. The Children’s Brain Tumor Project aims to improve the outcome for children with brain tumors by advancing translational and clinical research that focuses on targeted therapy, effective drug delivery, and low treatment-related toxicity.

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