CC-TDI Research Series I: DIPG Tumor Cell Hotel

Dr. Charles Keller, Scientific Director of the Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute, joins us with Dr. Anju Karki, post-doctoral fellow and DIPG Tumor Cell Hotel project leader describe this creative design to affect a real solution for children diagnosed with arguably the deadliest pediatric brain cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Based on the concept of the humorous commercial in1978, the Black Flag Roach Motel, where, "roaches check-in but they don't check out," the project is designed to attract and then disempower the tumor cells with a specially engineered "film" surgically implanted in a high-risk procedure. 

As with all other projects in the 2019 CCTR Research Series, the DIPG Tumor Cell Hotel is funded by a parent-led organization, and in this case, Storm the Heavens Fund of Philadelphia, PA. The 2nd half of the broadcast features Executive Director Mina Caroll who lost her 8-year-old daughter Philomena to DIPG in 2016, in a frank discussion about the unconscionable chronic lack of research funding and activity for childhood cancers, with DIPG treatment options seeing no meaningful change since Neil Armstrong's daughter Karen died of DIPG in 1962. 

Return to the Childhood Cancer Talk Radio Podcast Page
Connect with Us

Visit Us

About Janet

Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.