TGen opens DIPG tissue donation portal to accelerate research
PHOENIX, Ariz. — July 17, 2018 — A tissue donation portal opened today at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), which will advance research towards new treatments for an aggressive brain cancer that mostly strikes young children.
This new portal will accelerate the ability of families of children with DIPG — or Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma — to help TGen build a tissue bank that will aid researchers in their investigations of this rare and currently incurable disease that strikes about 350 children in the U.S. each year. Average survival following diagnosis is only one year.
"DIPG is such a rare and complicated cancer that relatively little is still known about its cause, let alone how we might successfully treat it," said Dr. Michael Berens, a TGen Deputy Director, Director of TGen's Cancer and Cell Biology Division, and head of TGen DIPG research. "By assembling tissue samples, we are becoming better equipped to probe the molecular underpinnings of DIPG and begin to find more clues that will lead to better treatments."
Also today, Paul and Cyndi Cozzi of Bonney Lake, Wash., contributed $25,000 to TGen DIPG research efforts on behalf of their 18-year-old son Camron, who recently succumbed to this aggressive cancer. Today's donation brings to $85,000 the total amount donated to TGen DIPG research by the Cozzi family.
"Our son Cam was an extraordinary and vibrant teenager with a passion for life, and especially for playing lacrosse and other sports. We want to do all we can to help prevent the sons and daughters of others from being suddenly cut down by DIPG just when their precious lives are taking flight," said Cyndi Cozzi.
"We believe TGen has the resources and the drive to bring together a host of research institutions that together will discover new treatments, initiate new clinical trials, and help stop this devastating disease," said Paul Cozzi. "We believe today's opening of TGen's DIPG tissue donation site is a major step in this amazing effort."
TGen's researchers are building a DIPG tumor atlas, a collection of tumor samples and accompanying analysis, that will help scientists understand the underlying genomic causes of this disease, help identify potential drugs to counter the disease, and eventually lead to novel clinical trials that would test new treatments en route to eventually find a cure.
TGen's DIPG efforts were initiated with the help of Shane and Shawnee Doherty of Phoenix, who established the Hope Through Hollis Fund at TGen in memory of their much-loved 7-year-old son, Hollis, who succumbed to DIPG in 2017. The fund has now eclipsed $353,000 in donations. With today's donation from the Cozzi family, the fund has raised $378,000.
To access TGen's DIPG tissue donation portal, please go to: https://www.tgen.org/research-forms/hdn/dipg-research/
For more information about TGen's DIPG efforts, please go to: https://www.tgen.org/campaign/move-the-needle-against-dipg/ and https://www.tgen.org/patients/participate-in-our-research/diffuse-intrinsic-pontine-glioma/
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center: http://www.cityofhope.org. This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. For more information, visit: http://www.tgen.org. Follow TGen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.
TGen Senior Science Writer