Projects & Progress We Fund
With the support of all of our incredible donors from across the country, the Team Jack Foundation has committed $8.765 million to childhood brain cancer research.
THE 5 GOALS OF TEAM JACK FUNDING
Identifying new genetic mutations that cause brain tumors.
Enabling medicines to pass the blood-brain barrier.
Clinical trials of new treatments for childhood brain tumors.
Evaluating whether certain molecules that can enter the brain could treat tumors.
Helping build and support childhood brain tumor programs across the country.
Team Jack’s research investments support these five areas of focus and more cancer-fighting initiatives. Below are past, present and ongoing projects supported by Team Jack that move us closer to a cure. Learn more about each on the Team Jack Blog.
Increasing Drug Efficacy and Identifying Genetic Mutations
Team Jack awarded $275,000 to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Charles Stiles to support their initiative to re-engineer current cancer-fighting drugs and boost their effectiveness. They also researched cancer-related genes and integrated those insights into the drugs they developed.
Medulloblastoma Treatment Research
With funding from Team Jack, the University of California, San Francisco tested drugs that could reprogram how certain genes are expressed—specifically genes associated with the brain cancer medulloblastoma. The drugs target mutations in some genes and could improve outcomes for children with this disease.
Phase I/II Study of MEK162 for Low-Grade Gliomas
The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute launched clinical trials of the drug MEK162 for children with recurrent brain tumors. Team Jack provided $300,000 to help the clinical trials determine the proper dosage and side effects of MEK162. The drug is now being tested in hospitals in several states. This new drug will turn off mutations in a molecular growth pathway that enable tumor growth in low grade gliomas, brain cancers. If successful, this drug will help stop tumors from growing.
Clinical Trials of New Therapies
Due to the positive response found from the initial trials of both MEK162 and TAK580, the Team Jack Foundation committed an additional $500,000 to support both projects at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The support would ensure the rapid completion of accrual to both, MEK162 and TAK580, protocols, as well as support for the critical analysis of tumor material generated by these trials. If successful, both trials have the ability to transform the care of children diagnosed with low-grade gliomas.
DIPG Treatment Research
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG) is the deadliest childhood brain cancer with a survival rate of 0% in the past five years. However, Team Jack provided $150,000 to Memorial Sloan Kettering and Dr. Richard Phillips as they develop a potential treatment for this terrible disease. Team Jack also has a three-year commitment to Children’s Hospital Orange County, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago as they take a different approach to DIPG treatment.
TAK580 Clinical Trial
Low-grade gliomas are difficult to surgically remove or treat with drugs, but the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium Grant/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute identified a promising new drug that could help. With a $300,000 commitment from Team Jack, researchers could start testing TAK-580, which shows an ability to attack low-grade gliomas in several ways. Most recently, TAK580 (now called tovorafenib (Day101)) has been acquired by DayOne Biopharmaceuticals who is working to bring this new therapy to market worldwide so it can start helping kids with brain cancer immediately. Read more about this exciting update here. Firefly-1 and Firelight-1 are two current studies involving tovorafenib.
University of Nebraska Medical Center Childhood Brain Tumor Program
Together with the Nebraska legislature, Team Jack has committed $3 million to the development of a childhood brain tumor program at UNMC’s Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. With the passing of LB 110 in 2015, public and private resources are continuously being raised to attract brain tumor experts to Nebraska and build a comprehensive program.
Power5 Pediatric Brain Tumor Initiative
Team Jack has pledged $5 million to fund the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha and Children’s Hospital Omaha. The program is called the Power5 Pediatric Brain Tumor Initiative and supports several key areas of focus: laboratory research, clinical research, pain management and education. Learn more about Power5 here.
High-Grade Glioma Research
The Team Jack Foundation awarded $50,000 to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to allow Dr. Maya Graham to research the gaps in insights into oncohistone-mediated gliomagenesis that currently pose a barrier to therapeutic development for patients with high-grade gliomas.
Phase I/II Immunotherapy Study for High-Grade Gliomas
Dr. Elias Sayour at the University of Florida will begin a first-in-human, phase I/II clinical trial to test a personalized immunotherapy by way of vaccine. The Team Jack Foundation has committed $100,000 toward this project.
Uncovering Hidden Drivers of Low-Grade Gliomas
Team Jack has committed $240,000 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center to Dr. Pratiti (Mimi) Bandopadhayhay to apply a genomic approach to identify drivers of pediatric low-grade glioma (pLGG) growth. Understanding these “mystery drivers” is critical to treating and ultimately curing pLGGs.