Research News

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Awards More Than $1 Million in New Research Funding to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) proudly announces an infusion of more than $1 million to help researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, led by Drs. Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayay and Rameen Beroukhim, launch a new study into a novel therapeutic target and expand their research into overcoming treatment resistance and rebound growth.

The first grant, amounting to $750,000 over the span of two years, will investigate a protein complex in KIAA1549-BRAF-rearranged pediatric gliomas that represent a novel MAPK-pathway independent therapeutic target.

While MAPK pathway inhibitors have shown early promise across clinical trials for pediatric gliomas, approximately 30-40% of all gliomas harbor a resistance to small molecule inhibition. Tumors that do respond often rebound after treatment stops. This grant will enable Drs. Bandopadhayay and Beroukhim’s team to test their hypothesis that suppressing this specific protein complex will enhance MAPK pathway inhibitors’ effectiveness in KIAA1549-BRAF-driven gliomas, resulting in a sustained response to treatment.

With KIAA1549-BRAF rearrangements being the most frequent driver alteration in the most common type of pediatric brain tumor, this therapeutic target is positioned to significantly advance the treatment landscape for a sizable population of children with brain tumors. Dr. Ryne DeBo, Vice President of Research, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

The remaining $350,000 will build on Drs. Bandopadhayay and Beroukhim’s study of the biological factors and cellular changes that contribute to some pediatric low-grade gliomas’ resistance to treatment and regrowth, as well as the optimization of targeted inhibition to overcome this behavior. In addition to PBTF’s expanded support of this project, the results generated by our initial seed funding have led Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s research team to secure a grant from the Department of Defense – a testament to the power of PBTF’s role in catalyzing early-stage research advancements that can improve patients’ survival and quality of life.

PBTF’s funding of the most promising pediatric brain tumor research is made possible through the generosity of donors, fundraisers, and community partners. Thank you to Catching Up With Jack and the Hope for Kids fund for their generous support of the novel therapeutic target grant, and Jacks Drive 55 Foundation‘s contributions to both grants through PBTF’s PLGA Fund.

Children with brain tumors, survivors, and their families depend on the support of the PBTF community to make sure progress towards cures doesn't stop. Donate or become a fundraiser today and join us in revolutionizing how children with brain tumors are diagnosed and treated.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) leads the way in funding research into pediatric brain tumors, supporting families affected by this disease, and advocating for policies that help patients, survivors, and their loved ones. Dedicated wholly to addressing this rare disease and guided by the unique experiences of pediatric patients, survivors, their parents, siblings, and caregivers, the PBTF’s community of support meets families’ informational, emotional, and financial needs along every step of their cancer journeys. The largest patient advocacy funder of pediatric brain tumor research, PBTF also funds and advocates for projects revolutionizing how children with brain tumors are diagnosed and treated – accelerating progress toward cures. Learn more, find support, and get involved at

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