Targeting the thioredoxin system as a novel strategy for DIPG

Targeting the thioredoxin system as a novel strategy for DIPG

Recipient: Associate Professor David Ziegler and Dr Dannielle Upton
Institute: Children’s Cancer Institute
Funding: $329,440 January 2022 to December 2024

Treatment development for the most aggressive of all childhood cancers, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

DIPG currently has no effective treatments. The average survival for children is just nine months post diagnosis.

Ziegler’s team was the first in Australia to establish a DIPG research program and are leading the development of multiple new treatments.

This study will investigate auranofin, a gold-containing anti-inflammatory compound previously used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Auranofin is in clinical trials for a range of adult cancers and Upton has discovered that it has potent anti-cancer activity against DIPG cells.

Read more: Behind the Science Professor David Ziegler

This project aims to conduct laboratory tests of auranofin and its combinations in order to develop it as a new treatment for DIPG. It will obtain the necessary data to begin translation of auranofin therapy from the bench-to-bedside, to directly benefit children with this devastating and currently incurable tumour.

“Our goal is to develop an auranofin combination treatment strategy that will not only improve survival outcomes for DIPG but help us in our ultimate goal of finding a cure this devastating childhood cancer.”