Dr. Mark Souweidane today treated the final patient in his Phase I clinical trial of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The trial, which had enrolled 31 patients over the past four years, was designed to test the safety of CED as a means of delivering a cancer-fighting drug directly to the site of a DIPG tumor. (More about the DIPG trial.)
The trial received FDA approval in late 2011, and the first patient was treated in May 2012. (Read “Cheering for Caitlin,” a profile of the first patient.) Since then, 30 children have received infusions of a therapeutic agent called 124I-8H9, which consists of the 8H9 antibody (produced by mice and effective against many kinds of tumors) combined with the radioactive substance 124I. The dosage of the drug was increased over the course of the trial, also testing safety, but no dose-limiting side effects occurred in any patient.
The infusions, which were done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, were able to deliver the drug directly to the brain stem tumor and were not blocked by the body’s protective blood-brain barrier, which normally prevents chemotherapy drugs from crossing from the bloodstream into the brain in sufficient concentrations to attack a tumor. In this trial, Dr. Souweidane was able to achieve concentrations of 1,000 times or more than what can be achieved with IV chemotherapy. He was also able to design and test new ways to measure those concentrations at the tumor site and monitor how long the drug stayed in the tumor.
Dr. Souweidane and his team will spend the next several months evaluating the data and preparing the results for publication. In the meantime, researchers in the Children’s Brain Tumor Project laboratory have been working to pave the road for the next stages of the trial. Other drugs and drug combinations are being tested to determine what the best agents are to infuse, and at what dose levels. DIPG cell lines are also being grown in the lab, providing a rich source of information about how the tumor mutates over time and responds to different treatments in vitro as well as in animal models. (More about the Children’s Brain Tumor Project.)
Read the blog post written by Dr. Souweidane after he treated the final patient in the trial, click the link below www.weillcornellbrainandspine.org/dipg-new-beginning
Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Darlene Rodriguez sat down with Cristian Rivera Foundation founder John “Gungie” Rivera and Dr. Mark Souweidane of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College to learn more about DIPG and the Cristian Rivera Foundation’s amazing efforts to fund research into its cure. The segment aired on Monday September 30, the same day that Rodriguez hosted the Fifth Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala. To see the full segment, visit http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/The-Cristian-Rivera-Foundation/225787111.
The Weill Cornell team is running (and walking) to help raise money for the Children’s Brain Tumor Project. Won’t you help? We’re conducting clinical trials and laboratory research in search of answers to pediatric brain tumors. There’s so little funding for these rare tumors – since “only” a few hundred children a year are diagnosed, large foundations and institutions just don’t make large grants to support our work. But we think even one child with such a diagnosis is too many, and we’re dedicated to creating hope for families. We depend on those families, along with friends, colleagues, and other supporters, to help fund this important work. Won’t you join the team, either by running or walking with us, or by making a donation? For additional information on Miles For Hope, please visit http://www.MilesForHope.org
To donate or join the team follow here.
The Cristian Rivera Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Souweidane, leading pioneer of the DIPG clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center, has just operated on the trial’s second patient today, Tuesday, July 17th! This clinical trial has been making great strides in the battle against DIPG, providing hope for families who previously had none. Dr. Souweidane operated on the first patient of the trial on Monday, May 1st and the beautiful 4-year-old girl has been doing surprisingly well. We are so proud to have helped fund this groundbreaking clinical trial, one that we hope will lead to finding a cure for DIPG. Currently, DIPG is an incurable disease which claims the lives of 200-300 children between the ages of 1 and 9 in the United States each year, a statistic we hope to abolish in the future. Full Steam Ahead!
Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Solange Osorio and John “Gungie” Rivera paid a visit to Dr. Mark Souweidane at Weill Cornell Medical Center on Wednesday January 26th to personally bring him a $10,000 check from the Foundation. Thus far the Cristian Rivera Foundation has donated $40,000 to Dr Souweidane’s research. The money will help pay for Dr. Souweidane’s clinical trials, which aim to bypass the blood-brain barrier and deliver treatment directly to the Pontine Glioma tumor. While they were there, they got the latest update on Dr. Souweidane’s research. The trials are set to begin in the next few months, after they’ve finished raising money and get final approval.