Building a Bridge: Expediating and Advancing Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

by | May 10, 2021 | Dean's Reflections, Fundraising & Events, Rally Blog, Research

When to Build a New Bridge

I love Rally. I love all the unique opportunities it provides—like building a bridge. Who knew? But first, a little background.

A few weeks ago, my husband Reid and his good friend Marty built a bridge across the creek in our backyard. The landscape and topography around the creek changed through the years, and our low-profile bridge had washed away.

So, to get to the other side of the creek, Reid would put on his waders and trudge across the water. It wasn’t very efficient, but it worked.

The new bridge is higher, sturdier and stronger. It makes crossing to the other side much easier. And now that we can get to the other side of the creek, guess what? There is more work to be done in that part of the yard.

Today at Rally, we have a unique opportunity to build a bridge together, so some very important work can be done on the other side. How cool is that?

Promising Research from the Beginning

At Rally, we fund outside the box ideas. One of those ideas came from pediatric brain tumor physician-scientist Dr. Gregory Friedman, whose research we’ve been funding for eight years.

When Dr. Friedman applied for the first time back in 2013, he had an outside the box idea for a drug named G207—a modified cold sore virus—to kill pediatric brain tumor cancer cells while leaving the healthy tissue alone.  

Dr. Friedman got great scores from our dual peer review process. His research started in the lab at the bench—meaning petri dishes and such. He was gathering pre-clinical data and hoping it led to a clinical trial.

Rally sticks with research as long as it is making progress, and Dr. Friedman has made progress indeed.

New England Journal of Medicine

Last month Dr. Friedman’s promising results from his Phase 1 Clinical Trial with G207 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This is basically the holy grail of all medical journals—just saying.

His G207 Phase 1 clinical trial included high-grade glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma and resulted in a higher quality of life and longer survival rates with mild and infrequent side effects. AMAZING!

Building a Bridge to Phase 2 and Beyond

Today Rally wants to raise $100,000 to build a bridge to a cure to help Dr. Friedman cross to a Phase 2 clinical trial and support the development of NEW trials using G207 to treat ALL types of low-grade and high-grade pediatric and adolescent brain tumors. His research is that promising.

A New Promising Therapy for Low-Grade and High-Grade Brain Tumors

Dr. Friedman currently has an open Phase 1 trial for medulloblastoma, ependymoma, AT/RT, glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma. And the pre-clinical data looks promising for additional clinical trials for kids and adolescents fighting other types of brain tumors that are low-grade and high-grade.

The bridge we build together today will move this critical research forward and give more kids the opportunity to receive this promising therapy. It will help Dr. Friedman get to the other side and continue his life-saving work.

Higher Quality of Life and Fewer Side Effects

We are building a bridge to better brain tumor treatments with fewer side effects, to a higher quality of life and to hope. We are building a bridge to a cure.

I know Dr. Friedman. If he has to strap on waders to cross to the other side, he will. He cares that deeply. But together, we can build a strong and sturdy bridge so Dr. Friedman’s research can advance more quickly, and he can help even more kids fighting many different brain tumors.

Hailey, William, Nolan, Lucy, Joe, Hagan, Charley, Tyson and So Many More

While the names of brain tumors may seem foreign, the names of Rally Kids fighting them are not. In fact, these precious names inspire us every day.

Hope for the Future and a Bridge to the Cure 

Our hope is that this bridge funding will give all kids who fight brain cancer the chance to survive and thrive. We envision them walking on a bridge—maybe over a creek—and stopping to sit with their feet dangling. Maybe they skip rocks, watch fish swim by or just giggle with their friends.

That, my friend, is a beautiful bridge. It’s why this bridge funding is so important. Help us build a Bridge to the Cure. Please give today.


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