Dr. Susan Spiller, a fellow in the Clinical Research Division, has been awarded a $70,000 fellowship from the American Brain Tumor Association. The funding will support her studies in Dr. Jim Olson's laboratory to develop an effective therapy for medulloblastoma, a relatively rare brain tumor that primarily strikes children under age 7. The disease is the most common malignant brain tumor in children.
Standard therapy for medulloblastoma, which includes surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation and a year of chemotherapy, offers a 70 percent chance of survival for children over age 3. Spiller and colleagues hope to develop effective new treatments that lack the toxic side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
The American Brain Tumor Association exists to eliminate brain tumors through research and to meet the needs of brain-tumor patients and their families.The association's fellowship program aims to encourage talented scientists early in their careers to enter, or remain in, the field of brain-tumor research.