Press On has granted $150,000 to a pediatric brain tumor study at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital run by Dr. Giles W. Robinson. The study intends to perform extensive molecular analysis on pediatric brain tumors of patients that are actively receiving therapy or about to receive therapy. The goal is series of trials that tailor and evaluate therapy relative to molecular features.

Thanks to technological advances in recent years, it is now recognized that brain tumor categorization is much more complex than previously thought. Pediatric brain tumors are being re-categorized and sub-categorized based on their many different cellular signals. Says Dr. Robinson, “the primary failure of treating pediatric brain tumors remains an inability to exploit and target the biologic errors that have led to the disease.” If cancer is traffic control gone wrong, “current cancer therapy with surgery, radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy is akin to forcefully removing the entire congested city block. If successful, the source of congestion is removed but what remains will be damaged, scarred, and rarely reusable.” Instead, Dr. Robinson intends to find a targeted solution to the problem.

This study is especially close to the Crawford Family at Press On. Hallie Crawford‘s rare brain tumor affected nearly a quarter of her brain; the surgery to remove it and follow-up chemotherapy and radiation left her physically and cognitively impaired. It is our mission at Press On to build a world where cancer and its treatment no longer leave children with lifelong side effects.

From left to right: Bob Crawford, Turner Simkins, Dr. Giles Robinson, Brennan Simkins, and Dr. Mary Griffon at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.