Targeting Polo-like kinase 1 as a novel therapeutic opportunity for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Targeting Polo-like kinase 1 as a novel therapeutic opportunity for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Recipient: Associate Professor David Ziegler
Institute: Sydney Children's Hospital
Funding: $278,282 July 2019 to June 2022

DIPG is the most aggressive cancer to affect children, with no known curative therapies. 

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) are the most aggressive of all childhood cancers. Due to their location within the brainstem, they cannot be removed surgically, they do not respond to chemotherapy, and radiotherapy is palliative only.
 
Innovative treatment approaches are urgently needed.
 
The Ziegler laboratory has found that a new class of drugs called Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitors are highly potent against the first DIPG cells ever grown in the laboratory. Further, that this new drug works well in synergy with an existing medication prescribed to treat other cancers.
 
This important discovery will be used to develop the optimal combination therapy at the bench with a view to fast tracking findings to the bedside to directly benefit children with DIPG. 

“We are really excited about this project and are in active negotiation with a drug company to try to get a trial up and running as soon as possible. Thanks again to The Kids’ Cancer Project for your ongoing and reliable support.” Associate Professor David Ziegler

This project received further support through Cancer Australia's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.