News

Sujatha Venkataraman

Sunday, December 03, 2017

After her son Rishi passed away from childhood cancer 14 years ago, Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD, was inspired to switch her research focus from adult breast and prostate cancer to childhood cancer. “Innocent kids should not go through this,” Sujatha reflects. “Kids like my little son are my inspiration.”

As a researcher of The Morgan Adams Foundation Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, she is working to find a cure for DIPG – diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – which is 100% fatal. “I am currently working on identifying the genes that cause DIPG and to identify gene pathways that make the DIPG tumor aggressive after relapse from radiation treatment.”

The typical treatment for DIPG patients is radiation, the only standard therapy so far. But, the tumor comes back after radiation, growing even more aggressively than the original tumor and becomes resistant to radiation therapy. At that point, there are no treatment options and parents are often told to take their child home to spend the limited time they have left away from the hospital.

DIPG affects children almost exclusively. Approximately 200-400 children in the United States are diagnosed with DIPG each year.

“Since very little is known about DIPG tumor biology, I want to understand the biology of this tumor. Understanding the biology of a tumor is the best way to target it faster.” Last year, Sujatha and Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar received a $20,000 MAF grant to investigate whether PTC-209, a small-molecule inhibitor of BMI1 protein, can help kill DIPG tumor cells. The research has yielded important data and resulted in more grants – totaling $500,000 – from the U.S. Department of Defense and other organizations, and that means a new possibility of hope for kids with this uniformly fatal tumor.

Only 4 percent of the national federal funding goes to pediatric cancer research, Sujatha notes. “A fraction of that money goes to pediatric brain tumor research. Most of our DIPG work is funded by The Morgan Adams Foundation.”

Watch Sujatha talk about DIPG tumors and the research she is working on in this short video.

Sujatha’s published papers related to DIPG include:


Chocolove Holiday Gift Box

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Chocolove has teamed up with The Morgan Adams Foundation to bring you an incredible gift box for the holidays. This 12-piece box of decadent dark chocolates filled with liquid caramel and dusted with real gold flakes is sure to be a hit with friends, family, co-workers and clients. Each box comes with a Happy Holidays card attached to the top.

100% of sale proceeds are donated to The Morgan Adams Foundation which funds pediatric cancer research! 

ORDER your gift box today. 

Morgan Adams's spirit lives on in the dedicated researchers and doctors we work with at the Children's Hospital Colorado. Like us, they are dedicated to finding cures for children's cancer. Children's bodies are different than adults and require different approaches to help cure. Because a child's life has just begun, there is no rationalization of how damaging a treatment can be on a child, to save a life. Every effort must be made to cure a child's cancer with the child having a full recovery and, if possible, no collateral damage so they can go on to live a long, full life.

To this end, a novel and careful drug delivery method is required. Binding drugs to gold nanoparticles is such a method being studied by Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar, Director of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Pediatric Neuro-Oncology program.

This pioneering work uses gold-coated nanoparticles as a carrier to bind and deliver cancer drugs specifically to cancer cells. This research will allow for more effective treatment with less drugs and less healthy cells being damaged and, therefore, less side effects. The research steps are several and the results so far are promising.

Chocolove's  holiday gift box of 12 decadent dark chocolates are filled with liquid caramel and dusted with real gold flakes. The 23-karat gold dust is real and so is the amazing chocolate/liquid caramel experience. The inspiration for the nano-amounts of gold dusting these chocolates is heartfelt. Chocolove will donate 100% of the proceeds for this item to The Morgan Adams Foundation! 

Happy Holidays from Chocolove and The Morgan Adams Foundation!


 


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