Personalizing treatment for childhood brain tumours

Dr Vijay Ramaswamy in a laboratory
Dr Vijay Ramaswamy, Canadian Cancer Society-funded researcher

Ependymomas are among the most malignant brain tumours diagnosed in children. Because few treatment options exist for these chemotherapy-resistant tumours, the current standard of care is aggressive radiation and surgery – both of which can lead to devastating long-term cognitive challenges and disabilities in children.

With your support and that of the Norris Family Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)-funded researcher Dr Vijay Ramaswamy and his team are investigating the theory that ependymomas are caused by the fusion of 2 mismatched segments of DNA, and are developing models from patients’ tumour samples to identify and test new drugs to target these fusions. If successful, this research will pave the way for more tailored ependymoma treatments, helping children with this cancer live longer, fuller lives.

I want to say thank you,” says Dr Ramaswamy. “I truly believe that through your generous support, we are getting closer to our goal of saying to families: ‘Your child has a brain tumour, but they are going to grow up and be okay.’”