This is an exciting time in the search for effective treatments for DIPG. DIPG is the deadliest form of pediatric brain cancer and the prognosis for a child diagnosed with DIPG today is no better than it was 40 years ago. But these statistics miss an important part of the DIPG story. The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in our understanding of DIPG tumors, and doctors and researchers have begun to identify possible ways to treat the disease. While it is still too soon to claim that a cure is imminent, many doctors are optimistic that effective treatments will be found in the next 5 to 10 years, if not sooner.
We have broken down the current research into three basic categories.
- Basic Research. Basic research focuses on gaining knowledge about the disease, including how it develops and progresses, and the molecular changes that distinguish the cancer cells from the surrounding normal tissue. This research is so important because doctors and researchers cannot know how best to treat a disease until they understand the biology underlying it.
- Translational Research. Translational research is where the knowledge gained from basic research is transformed into the development of new treatments. This research is considered pre-clinical testing because the testing is not done on humans. Instead, it typically involves applying potential treatments to cells in petri dishes or to animal models of the disease to see if the treatment can successfully kill tumor cells.
- Clinical Trials. Clinical trials involve testing potential new treatments (that show promise during pre-clinical testing) on human subjects. These trials are designed to test both the safety and the efficacy of the new drug.
Click on any topic to see the recent developments in that area of research.