The Meghan Rose Bradley Foundation currently supports research being pursued by Dr. Yanxin Pei, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's National Research Institute. Her work proposes to use engineered T cells that specifically target and destroy brain tumor cells while not
harming normal healthy brain tissue. She will test T cells that have been genetically modified to target a
molecule called GPC2, which we have shown is very abundant on the surface of medulloblastoma tumor
cells but is virtually absent from normal nervous system tissues (so healthy brain cells should not be
damaged). GPC2 has already shown promise as a therapeutic T cell target for treating a different type of
childhood cancer. She will use mouse models of medulloblastoma to test whether injected therapeutic T cells can prevent the spread of tumors to other sites in the brain and spinal cord. She will also test T cells in combination with focal radiation therapy confined to the brain only, which results in much less nervous system damage in young children than radiation of the entire brain and spinal cord. Successful completion of the proposed studies can open new avenues to more effective treatment of medulloblastoma and improved outcomes for patients and their families.