Team Jack to Fund DIPG Project at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York

Team Jack to Fund DIPG Project at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Team Jack Foundation is proud to announce a new partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The Foundation has committed to a $150,000 research project focusing on developing a new drug-delivery method for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG), the deadliest form of pediatric brain cancer, led by Dr. Richard Phillips, oncologist and scientist. The funds will be dispersed over three years for a total of $150,000.

DIPG is an aggressive brain-stem tumor in children that interferes with bodily functions and deprives the patient of the ability to move, communicate and even eat and drink. The five-year survival rate for patients with DIPG is less than 1%. There are currently no drug treatments for DIPG that are approved by the FDA.

In recent years, researchers have developed drugs that will successfully combat DIPG tumor cells in their testing modules. However, a major challenge in the treatment of all brain cancers is making sure the drug gets through the blood-brain barrier and into the brain. The blood-brain barrier exists to prevent “foreign substances” from the blood from entering the brain. This makes funding research to discover new drug-delivery methods vital to find new treatments and a cure for pediatric brain cancer.

According to Dr. Phillips, they have made important discoveries in their studies of DIPG. They have found that the instructions for certain cells are incorrect so instead of developing into normal cells they become tumor cells. Dr. Phillips and his team have identified a drug that reverses the problem in their models, but they are now engineering new versions of the drug that can pass the blood-brain barrier to the affected brain cells.

“Major breakthroughs have been made over the past several years in the understanding of DIPG, but challenges still remain. Work like this is important so we can advance new research developments and identify novel and more effective ways to treat these children,” Dr. Phillips stated.

About Dr. Richard Phillips: – Dr. Phillips received his bachelor’s degree at the University College of London, his MD/PhD at King’s College London School of Medicine, completed his internship and residency at Harvard Medical School, his fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University. He is a board-certified neurologist with a research focus in epigenetics and understanding the processes that dictate whether genes are switched ‘on’ or ‘off’.  His overarching goal is to develop more effective treatments for his patients.

About the Team Jack Foundation: The Team Jack Foundation’s primary focus is to raise research funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research.  Childhood brain cancer affects nearly 4,600 children each year and is the leading cancer cause of death in children.  The Team Jack Foundation has raised nearly $6 million since its 2013 inception. The funding is currently fueling eight research projects nationwide.  The Team Jack Foundation is working with world renowned researchers, directly, to develop relevant and impactful research initiatives.

For more information on The Team Jack Foundation, please visit: Follow the Team Jack Foundation on and on Twitter @TeamJack.


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