Targeting DNA Damage Response in Glioma (TDG) Consortium
The Targeting DNA Damage Response in Glioma (TDG) Consortium is the National Brain Tumor Society’s flagship research initiative. Consistent with our strategy to fund treatments-focused research, TDG is a collaboration of world-class researchers cultivating and evaluating an emerging but underdeveloped area of cancer research that has already shown survival benefits in other cancers.
TDG has the ability to cultivate this budding area of research and propel an entirely new class of treatments forward for both adults and children with multiple different types of malignant brain tumors, including astrocytoma, glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma, and pediatric gliomas.
What is DNA Damage Response (DDR)?
Our bodies maintain a sophisticated process that senses and repairs broken or damaged DNA to keep our cells healthy and functioning correctly. In biology, the complex network of cellular machinery deployed to accomplish this task is referred to as the “DNA damage response (DDR).”
Researchers have discovered that targeting the DDR of tumor cells with new treatments is a promising strategy to defeat brain tumors. Science indicates that disrupted DDR networks are possibly an ‘Achilles’ heel’ for tumors, leaving them vulnerable to a new group of treatments currently being developed and primed for rapid evaluation and translation into clinical trials for patients.
Unlike other, more traditional precision medicine strategies, targeting tumor DDR may be applicable to virtually all malignant brain tumor types, both in children and in adult patients. Additionally, there are a number of possibilities to target different aspects of the DDR system in tumor cells, providing ample opportunities to find the right “match” between multiple patient tumor types and corresponding drugs.
With drugs designed to attack tumors’ DDR network already transforming other difficult-to-treat cancers like ovarian cancer, this strategy needs to be quickly and expertly tested for brain tumor patients.
The TDG Consortium
To bring forth a concerted effort to advance this strategy, NBTS has formed a consortium of leading experts in both pediatric and adult neuro-oncology research to go “all-in” in pursuit of making the promise of this approach a reality for patients.
NBTS’s TDG Consortium intends to rapidly test different drugs against laboratory models, share data, and then bring the most promising drugs forward to evaluate in clinical trials that match the right drugs with the right patients. The consortium is made up of a diverse team of experts from five major brain tumor research groups across the United States with expertise spanning each of the major areas needed to foster rapid development and translation into clinical trials. The skillset of the TDG Consortium is unmatched, and the scientific strategy adeptly leverages the expertise and resources of each team member.
TDG harnesses the power of philanthropy and team science to build and implement a fast-paced, highly specialized, and talented consortium to evaluate, in brain cancer, a class of promising treatments that are already showing effectiveness in other cancers. NBTS strongly believes that possible drugs and treatments discovered and advanced by the TDG Consortium have the potential to rapidly change the treatment landscape for brain tumor patients in the near term.