News

RESEARCHER SPOTLIGHT Adam Green, MD

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dr. Adam Green joined the neuro-oncology group at Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2014. He has a dual role – caring for patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado in the pediatric neuro-oncology department and conducting research for The Morgan Adams Foundation Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program. His goal is to develop better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for rare brain tumors that have low survival rates. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which has a 0% survival rate, is at the top of his list. The tumor is rare: about 200 patients, mostly between the ages of five and nine, are diagnosed each year in the U.S. The sole treatment option for DIPG is radiation, which only serves to slow the tumor’s progression, not stop it.
 
WHY STUDY DIPG?
I planned to become a pediatrician when I was in high school and I was a neurobiology major in college. I became interested in pediatric brain tumors in medical school and then specifically in DIPG because of a patient I treated during my first year of fellowship. It felt unacceptable to me that we still have a disease in our field for which we can offer patients and families no hope for cure, unlike every other cancer we treat. I felt compelled to try to change this through research.
 
RESEARCH FOCUS:
In my work on DIPG to this point, we have used cell culture and lab models of the disease, created directly from patient tumor samples, to identify new weaknesses in these tumors and try to exploit those weaknesses through new treatments. We have been able to bring two of these treatments into clinical trials.
 
GETTING CHEMO TO THE TUMOR:
One trial is designed to determine whether chemotherapy delivered orally or by IV can penetrate to DIPG tissue enough to have an effect. The trial arose from work conducted in our lab as part of The Morgan Adams Foundation Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program and is currently expanding to other hospitals. The trial will help us decide whether we should continue to investigate new medicines delivered by these routes or focus on delivering chemotherapy directly to the tumor. I am confident we’ll be able to answer this question.
 
ONE TRIAL COMING UP:
Dr. Green and his colleagues will present findings from this clinical trial at the International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, taking place this July in Denver.