In 2017, Chance for Life began funding three critical and related investigations, centered on immunotherapy to treat aggressive forms of pediatric brain cancer: DNA Analysis, Study of Protein, and Executing a Life Saving Trial. Specifically, the revolutionary Phase 1 trial, near the FDA approval phase, focuses on retraining a child’s cells to battle cancer.
In 2018, Chance for Life expanded their reach at Children’s National by supporting the following programs:
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With ALSF, Chance for Life has funded researchers at Stanford and Johns Hopkins to create spinal cord tumor models growing human cancers, in order to monitor how they grow and the pharmaceutical impact. Another Chance for Life funded project involves :3-D printed synthetic bone grafts to replace bone removed from osteosarcoma and spinal cord tumor patients. This method has proven to be a safer and more effective option.
Brian R. Rood, MD is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National Medical Center whose primary clinical focus is pediatric neuro-oncology.
Dr. Rood joined the faculty of Children’s National in 2002 after completing a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as well as a research fellowship in the molecular biology of brain tumors, both at Children’s National and Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Rood received an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the Pennsylvania State University and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his training in General Pediatrics at the University of Vermont.
Dr. Rood is the Director of Clinical Neuro-oncology at Children’s and cares for brain tumor patients on the inpatient oncology ward and in the outpatient clinic. He is co-PI with Dr. Roger Packer of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium clinical trial program at Children’s. He also runs an active NIH funded molecular biology lab in the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research of the Children’s Research Institute. His lab is working to elucidate the mechanisms whereby the loss of the tumor suppressor gene HIC1 leads to the genesis of brain tumors. He is also investigating the proteome of cerebrospinal fluid in order to discover a protein marker for the presence of pediatric brain tumors.
Eugene Hwang, M.D., is part of Children’s National Health System neuro-oncology team and focuses on treating children with brain tumors. Dr. Hwang’s undergraduate work was in cellular and molecular biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas. After completing medical school at Duke University, Dr. Hwang completed residency at Brown University Medical Center before returning to Duke University Medical Center for both his pediatric hematology-oncology and neuro-oncology fellowships. While at Duke, he conducted research focused on finding new treatments for childhood medulloblastoma.
He is passionate about improving the care of children with brain tumors, and is currently involved in innovative clinical research to quickly find new and effective treatments.
Dr. Hwang is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, camping, and other similar activities, although he can also be found cooking in his spare time. He is a fan of college sports in general, and roots for either his alma mater (the Rice University Owls) or the Texas A&M Aggies. He has two young daughters and is married to Dr. Kristina Hardy, who is a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s National.