The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s PLGA Fund and the American Association for Cancer Research (AARC) are excited to announce a request for proposals for the inaugural Research Grant to Optimize Drug Dosing Strategies for Pediatric LGA/LGG Patients. This grant represents a joint commitment to promote and support innovative, collaborative research focused on the most common forms of pediatric brain cancer – low-grade glioma and astrocytoma (PLGA).

While this project is specifically targeted to PLGA brain cancer, it holds great potential for all kids with brain tumors by laying the foundation for a better understanding of drug dosing across the wide spectrum of pediatric brain tumor types.

“We are at the very beginning of a field of study that hasn’t been explored before when it comes to understanding the pharmacodynamics of drug dosing in children. While we know that kids metabolize things differently than adults and that low-grade brain tumors in children pose different treatment challenges than in adults, children with PLGA and other types of brain tumors are still often treated with a drug dosage that is based on their adult counterpart. This simply doesn’t make sense,” says PBTF’s PLGA Research and Advocacy director Amy Weinstein.

The $180,000 grant provided over two years will kickstart this unexplored field and help guide optimal dosing strategies in children. Currently, Phase I of clinical trials is typically dedicated to identifying maximum drug dosing. By gaining a better fundamental understanding of drug dosing in children through this study, scientists and clinicians can identify new targeted drug therapy protocols that are more effective in Phase I. A more efficient Phase I will mean that children can benefit from Phase II of a trial sooner, ultimately accelerating our pace in pursuit of a cure.

Researchers in the field, as well as investigators with experience in other areas of cancer or biomedical research who have promising ideas and approaches that can be applied to PLGA patients, are invited to apply.

“PBTF’s PLGA Fund is excited to partner with AACR, whose membership includes more than 50,000 highly accredited scientists and clinicians across a wide discipline of oncology specialties. This access to experts outside the pediatric oncology field provides a much broader group of collaborators to make the greatest impact for kids with PLGA and other types of brain tumors,” says Weinstein.

Projects must be implemented by a collaborative research team composed of one principal investigator and at least one collaborator from different institutions. Funding can apply to expenses related to the research project, including salary and benefits of the grant recipient and any collaborators, postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, graduate students, research assistants, research and laboratory supplies, equipment, travel, publication for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project, and other research expenses.

The proposed research should be translational in nature and focused on improving the understanding and identification of effective dosing parameters for treating children with PLGA brain tumors, with indications for children battling other types of brain tumors. Basic science and clinical proposals will also be considered. Proposals should also include at least one collaborator from an institution separate from the applicant’s institution.

Learn more and apply here.