Improving chemotherapy regimens for medulloblastoma

Improving chemotherapy regimens for medulloblastoma

Recipient: Dr Nick Gottardo
Institute: Telethon Kids Institute
Funding: $252,987 July 2016 to June 2018

Combination therapy may lead to new standard of care for brain cancer.

Radiation therapy is an essential treatment component for medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer most commonly affecting children. Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA inside cancer cells, causing cancer cell death. However, cancer cells often repair the DNA damage, survive and multiply, leading to tumour regrowth.

Dr Gottardo and his team have evidence that two drugs (iCHK and iATR) can improve radiation therapy by stopping DNA repair. A previous study funded by The Kids’ Cancer Project showed that the combination treatment of iCHKs with chemotherapy doubled or tripled the lifespan in animal models with medulloblastoma. Preliminary investigations for this project further found that iCHKs and iATR may also enhance the effects of radiation on the tumour. 

The results of this project will reveal the appropriateness of iCHK and iATR for children with medulloblastoma, and if they improve radiation therapy. Moving forward this will inform the design of new clinical trials, and help achieve our aim of better quality of life for patients.