My child is number 29, in a class of 29. The newest student… I imagine her standing in line behind McKenna, and Jennifer, and the other 26 children in the lab, waiting for her turn to follow the instructions given. Smiling, and eager to do her best to follow the rules, and shine. Staring up, hoping she’s next..
I know this is a fantasy, but it’s helping. I know she’s actually in a Petri dish, in a lab refrigerator, waiting with McKenna, and Jennifer for her turn, and an even bigger part of life then we could ever give her. Repeat, it’s helping…
Story time: Katherine was involved in a recent study, and you really have to hear about this. I cried, smiled, cried some more… It’s unbelievable.
Synopsis from the study Katherine was in at Stanford and just released a few weeks ago. – High-Grade Gliomas (HGG’s) are a diffusely infiltrating group of cancers with a dire prognoses (Katherine had a glioma on her PONs). What is thought to be the tumor reservoir, the lateral ventricle (SVZ) for a range of HGG’s including adult glioblastoma (GBM) has been closely associated with decreased survival and increased tumor recurrence. Death… DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) is the most common HGG of childhood and the leading cause of pediatric brain tumor related death, with a median survival of only 9 months and a 5 year survival of <1%. DIPG tends to not only infiltrate the brainstem where it originates, but also spreads distantly to the lateral ventricle (SVZ).
The debate – Does the cancer begin in the stem cell niche or does it spread there for all Gliomas, adult or pediatric. DIPG clearly starts in the PON’s, and then spreads there, making it harder to treat, and decreasing the survival rate. This also makes DIPG an illustrative tumor type in which to discern these mechanisms for all gliomas.
Yes, Katherine’s is a teacher, and is teaching us things about how cancer affects all of us who could, or will be affected by it. Her tumor provided the Stanford team a rare and valuable resource for their study. Thanks to the team at Stanford, and Katherine’s tumor, we have a potential target for future therapeutic development against glioma invasions, and some insight into how to treat these tumors better for all of us. Yes, us…
In the picture below, Katherine is SU-DIPG-XXIX or SU-DIPG-29.
For more details on the study, go here: http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)30823-1?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867417308231%3Fshowall%3Dtrue
For more details on the team at Stanford, go here: med.stanford.edu/monje-lab/people.html#dr_monje
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and helping us prevent a number 30.
Jaime (SU-DIPG-XXIX’s mommy)