Science Nonfiction: Anju, DIPG & the Tumor Cell Hotel


I study Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an aggressive and hard treat form of brain tumor which primarily affects children between the ages of 4 and 11. The proposed method of this project is summarized by the following video.

Video created by Eva’s sister, the amazing Isabel of Braver, Stronger, Smarter

We want to separate DIPG cells from normal cells. To do so, we want to make use of a disposable thin film material to attract the tumor cells (basically trap tumor cells). Next, we want to apply thin film via surgery through middle cerebellar peduncle into dorsolateral pons.

Currently, our focus is to identify the best chemoattractant cytokine/s (bait) and synthetic extracellular matrix (trap). We will then characterize the range of migration rates and distances possible for human DIPG cultures. This will allow us to compare the performance of the three best candidate biofilm-bait-trap configurations. Ultimately, we want to be able to carry out experiments to test the efficacy of the Tumor Cell Hotel (TCH) thin films at debulking a defined tumor volume. The TCH idea in tackling DIPG is novel and challenging! We are excited by the data thus far.

We will be participating in the Second Annual Bean’s Ball organized by the Storm the Heavens Fund in March, and we would like to send a HUGE thank you to Storm the Heavens for supporting our work!

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