June 19, 2014

UAB Cancer Center researcher receives grant to support pediatric brain tumor research

Written by
gregory-friedmanGregory Friedman, M.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and associate scientist in the Neuro-Oncology program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been awarded a $40,000 grant to support his research to fight brain cancer in children.

The grant was awarded by the Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research (Rally) and Vs. Cancer Foundation. In the past, the Rally Foundation has supported Friedman’s work on medulloblastoma, the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor and a leading cause of cancer-related death.

“While survival rates have improved, a significant number of patients have poor outcomes despite surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which are all damaging to the developing brain,” Friedman said. “With this grant, we are focusing on the development and clinical application of genetically altered viruses which kill cancer cells while sparing normal brain cells.”

Friedman says this therapy has proved safe in several adult clinical trials at UAB and his goal is to bring this new therapy to clinical use in children with brain tumors. Friedman provides care to pediatric cancer patients at the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, a partnership between UAB, Children’s of Alabama and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center