In recent decades, brain cancer has replaced leukemia as the most common cancer causing death among children and adolescents. Malignant brain tumors including glioblastomas, diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, medulloblastomas and ependymomas are among the most lethal cancers and inflict a disproportionate impact on pediatric populations.
The research of David J. Daniels, M.D., Ph.D., aims to improve the prognosis of children with malignant brain tumors through early diagnosis, novel surgical approaches for pediatric brain tumors and targeted therapies based on the unique molecular underpinnings of individual brain tumors.
- Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
- Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor
- Pediatric glioblastoma
Significance to patient care
Dr. Daniels' lab has identified multiple molecular pathways and therapeutic drugs that could significantly improve the prognosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, and is setting up clinical trials to test the efficacy of these therapies. The lab is also developing minimally invasive liquid biopsies that accurately identify tumor-specific changes to monitor tumor progression and response to therapy in real time that could ultimately improve clinical outcomes. Lastly, Dr. Daniels and colleagues seek to develop techniques that facilitate aggressive surgical resection for pediatric brain tumors while maintaining or improving safety.