Preclinical Consortium

This is the first time that a group of international basic and translational scientists and physicians have come together as a consortium to focus on DIPGs and on a bench-to-bedside approach to rationally target therapy for children with DIPGs.

Background: Little was known about the biology of these tumors until recently. The availability of autopsy and some biopsy materials from children with DIPGs has led to a new understanding of the biology of these tumors. Important biological pathways in DIPGs are being identified. These pathways may be readily targeted with currently available molecularly-targeted agents. In addition, human DIPG tumors have been grown from human postmortem DIPG tumors from autopsy materials in petri dishes (cell lines and neurospheres). Finally, mouse DIPG models have been developed– a key resource to functionally testing potential therapies.


The researchers hypothesize that they can identify a promising combination of molecularly-targeted agents using a functional drug screening approach by first testing the potentially effective molecularly-targeted drugs in the laboratory from DIPG cell lines (16 available cell lines).

They will test the two or three most effective drugs in the mouse models in combination. The ultimate goal is to move the most effective single agent or combination therapy forward to early phase clinical trials in the next 18-24 months.

Consortium Participants-

  • Oregon Health and Science University- Charles Keller MD, Kellie Nazemi MD, Nate Selden MD, PhD and Dan Guillaume MD, PhD
  • Duke University- Oren Becher MD
  • Stanford- Michelle Monje, MD, PhD
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center- Maryam Fouladi, DM
  • Baylor College of Medicine- Xiao Nan Li, MD,PhD
  • University of Toronto- Cynthia Hawkins, MD, PhD
  • VU Cancer Center of Amsterdam- Dannis G. van Vuuren, ND MSc and Ester Hulleman
  • Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif France- Jacques Grill

Website- (regular progress updates)

Funding- The DIPG Symposium Collaboration through the Cure Starts Now including Reflections of Grace Foundation, The Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation, Cancerfree Kids, Carly’s Crusaders, The Max Lacewell Foundation, Smiles for Sophie Forever Foundation and Benny’s World Foundation

The Lyla Nsouli Foundation for Children’s Brain Cancer Research

Curesearch for Children’s Cancer

ABC2- Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure