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CERN Member Investigating Immune Responses in Ependymomas

New Immunotherapy Trials Aim to Prevent Recurrence of Pediatric Ependymomas 

Pediatric neuro-oncologist Nicholas Foreman, M.D., has been researching new therapies for resistant brain tumors in children for over 25 years. But for the past decade, he has uniquely focused his research on immunotherapies for recurring ependymomas, which are associated with poor survival.

Specifically, Dr. Foreman is studying the immunobiology of ependymomas – the biological factors of the disease that drive changes in the immune system.

“There is a misunderstanding of immune biology,” explains Dr. Foreman. “People think you just have to ramp up the immune system [to fight the disease], but in some situations you need to change the immune system because it’s pro-tumor, and make it anti-tumor.”

Two-thirds of childhood ependymomas are located in the posterior fossa and are of two distinct molecular subgroups: Group A and Group B. Dr. Foreman discovered that the immunobiology of Group A was pro-tumor and Group B was anti-tumor, meaning Group A is more aggressive and accounts for worse outcomes and the most deaths. “And almost all children that are very young, under age five, have posterior fossa Group A tumors” says Dr. Foreman.

These impactful discoveries were the start of Dr. Foreman’s immunobiology research.  


There is Still Time to Reserve Your Butterfly!

We are reaching out to you as a member of the ependymoma community to ask for your support by purchasing a butterfly that will be released during our release on May 8 on Ependymoma Awareness Day in Arlington, VA. Purchase a butterfly to memorialize a loved one, or simply to demonstrate the need to create greater awareness of this poorly understood disease. With your help, we will continue to expand our efforts to improve the care and outcome of people with ependymoma.


Tyler's Girlfriend Gives Ultimate Christmas Present

Tyler battled an aggressive brain cancer that resembled an ependymoma and sadly passed at the age of 21 on September 17, 2016. Tyler was first diagnosed at the age of 10. Following surgery and radiation, he was cancer free for 9 years. When he was 19, his tumor recurred after his first year of college. He fought bravely with a smile and optimistic attitude the entire time with his girlfriend, Nicole, friends and family by his side. He loved with all his heart and brought joy to others in everything he did. “We are so proud of the man he was and his accomplishments were endless,” shares Theresa, Tyler’s mom.
This past Christmas, Nicole, thought raising money for the CERN Foundation might be a good gift for him. “I wanted his present to be meaningful and I think raising money to potentially help another family one day would be something that would have made him happy,” shares Nicole.
She created a fundraising event at a local bar, Fourth Street Bar and Grille, in Columbus, OH and invited all the fellow Buckeye’s to join in. Wristbands were sold and all the proceeds would go directly to CERN. Nicole “thought it would be a good way to get people out and together instead of just donating online. Tyler would want people to have fun!” Nicole created a Facebook page about the event as well as an online fundraising page, with the goal to raise $2,000.
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