Research

A pediatric low-grade astrocytoma (PLGA) is a slow growing, potentially deadly tumor and is the most common form of childhood brain tumors. In fact, PLGAs account for one-third of pediatric brain tumors. Unfortunately, PLGAs remain significantly under-researched and first line treatment has remained unchanged for over 25 years. Families of children in similar situations have joined forces to change that.

In 2007, Why Not Me Inc. collaborated with FightJPA.org in funding the first ever dedicated Pediatric Low Grade Astrocytoma (PLGA) Research Program at Dana Farber in Boston. The primary objective of this program is to discover new and improved targeted therapies that will treat the tumors without the risk of impairing the bodies and minds of those children being treated.

In 2008, Why Not Me Inc. provided funding for a Phase II RAD001 drug trial led by Dana Farber through the Pediatric Low Grade Astrocytoma Research Program. We also helped to fund the ISPNO Pediatric Neuro Oncology Conference to help jumpstart renewed interest in the field of PLGAs. The conference was attended by 500 researchers, clinicians and families.

In 2009, Dana Farber continued work on the basic tumor research and collaborated with researchers in the UK. Dana Farber also continued to enroll children in the RAD001 drug trial. Much of this year had been focused on getting a second drug trial off the ground.

In 2010, Why Not Me Inc. participated in funding a multi-institutional, low grade glioma database and analysis project that will allow researchers to obtain much needed data that has been compiled over the past 2 decades through prospective clinical trials performed in North America and Europe, as well as 2 large geographic databases. This centralized and more robust data can be more efficiently utilized for future molecular studies by researchers.

In 2011, Dana Farber received a grant to be dispersed over a 5 year period for the Low Grade Astrocytoma Program. This grant more than doubled the research budget raised over 5 years among the various families, Why Not Me Inc. included, involved in raising funds for the program.

In 2011, Why Not Me Inc. made a contribution to CHOP to fund a PLGA tumor analysis project. This was our first collaboration with CHOP. We continue to support our new collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) brain tumor research program in partnership with the PLGA Foundation and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We recently committed to another generous donation for another drug trial. We continue to be impressed with the energy and dedication of the CHOP team.

In 2013 and 2014, Why Not Me Inc. provided funding, along with A Kids Brain Tumor Cure Foundation, for a Phase II clinical trial through the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium utilizing molecular profiling to determine the effectiveness of the mTOR inhibitor, everolimus, with other combination therapies for pediatric PLGG brain tumors with certain molecular signatures.

Parent Education Webinar: Biology Pathways As Target for Pediatric Low Grade Glioma Patients
This webinar explains the current biology of Wyatt’s tumor type, as well as the various research and drug trials (many of which Why Not Me has helped to fund) and their results to date.

October 2016 – Along with a Kids Brain Tumor Cure, co-sponsored a Phase I/II clinical trial study of MEK162 for children with Ras/Raf Pathway Activiated Tumors.