DIPG Research Overivew
The treatment of childhood brain tumors remains a tremendous challenge for pediatric oncologists. This challenge is even greater when the tumor is located in an area of the brain that is not amenable to surgical resection, such as the hypothalamus or brainstem (pons). The subsets of pediatric glial tumors that are located in the brainstem are also known as brainstem gliomas (BSG), or diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs).
Despite the many challenges in treating DIPGs, doctors and scientists, assisted by patients and their families, continue to work diligently toward finding new and more effective therapies for children with DIPGs and other brain tumors. While progress has been slower than desired, we continue to make incremental advances in understanding the biology of these challenging cancers. While we are working to unlock the keys to determine what makes a DIPG develop, we are simultaneously evaluating new drugs in clinical trials to determine whether or not they should be used in the treatment of DIPGs.
DIPG Research Focus
Parents of pediatric cancer patients are the advocacy voice of their children. It has been through the initiatives of parent advocates that progress has been realized in many types of childhood cancer treatment. In the early 1970s, a group of parents of children with cancer formed Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (now the American Childhood Cancer Organization) and lobbied Congress for childhood cancer research funding. Their efforts led to:
- an increase in awareness of the devastation of childhood cancer
- designated pediatric oncology program funding within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
- the inclusion of pediatric oncology language in President Nixon's National Cancer Act of 1971
- the development of information and support programs within Candlelighters.
There are several organizations that focus on researching DIPG and funding research into DIPG – operating with the belief that finding a cure for DIPG will lead to a cure for all cancers.
The Cure Starts Now is dedicated to finding the homerun cure for cancer by focusing on one of the rarest, most aggressive forms of cancer. Believing in more than just awareness, They have funded over $10 million in cancer research, resulting in 59 cutting edge research grants in 6 countries since 2007.