Research Update

Progress on Our Journey to Find a Cure – 2019

The Super Jake Foundation is thrilled to fund a new research
study with Dr. Susan Cohn, University of Chicago. She writes:

I am deeply grateful for the Super Jake Foundation’s consideration to support my latest neuroblastoma research. Your support will supply the resources necessary to kick-start my studies investigating the epigenetic landscape in neuroblastoma tumors and circulating cell-free DNA. This project is aimed at discovering more robust prognostic markers children with this deadly tumor have, and at developing a minimally invasive tool to monitor disease response, individualize therapy, and improve survival for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. We hypothesize that the pattern of  5hmC marks in neuroblastoma tumors will be prognostic of patient survival and provide novel information that will lead to more effective, individualized treatments. We also hypothesize that we will be able to monitor response to therapy by comprehensively profiling 5hmC marks in cfDNA isolated from blood samples from children with neuroblastoma collected before and after treatment.

The specific aims are to:

  1. Elucidate the prognostic significance of 5hmC profiles in neuroblastoma tumors
  2. Investigate if these marks in cfDNA isolated from blood samples collected from neuroblastoma patients can be used to monitor response to treatment

If successful, the studies will lead to improved methods for predicting the survival of patients with neuroblastoma at the time of diagnosis. Improved risk classification will enable more precisely tailored treatment stratification and, hopefully, improved outcomes. Our studies may also lead to the discovery of novel, powerful prognostic markers that can be assayed in blood samples over time to monitor a patient’s response to treatment. Alternative approaches could be considered for children who are not responding to standard therapy, and we envision that such individualized, biomarker-driven treatment decisions will ultimately lead to improved survival of children with high-risk neuroblastoma.

The study above is another example of novel research that The Super Jake Foundation is committed to funding. Over the years, with your support, the foundation has been able to help make significant advancements to improve children’s lives. Some of the notable research projects include funding the development of the first International Neuroblastoma Database; studied the effects of glycolysis inhibition in the development of drug resistance of neuroblastoma; evaluated the role of midkine in the development of drug resistance in neuroblastoma; Researched the germline genetic variations and pharmacogenomics and how they impact cancer outcomes. Our aim is to continue to partner with the world’s leading researchers who are passionate to cure one of the most deadly forms of pediatric cancers, neuroblastoma.