Behind the Science: Q & A with Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein

Funding lifesaving research with Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein

Our researchers, like Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein are super heroes that are working hard to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer. Our careful distribution of grants allows doctors to speed up the process of bringing the latest and most promising treatments to children. Translational Research Grants fund new research protocols and therapies that hold promise for improved outcomes and accelerates cures from the laboratory to the bedside of children and teens with high-risk cancers.

Meet Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein, Translational Research Grant recipient from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Her focus in this grant is to better understand the biology of medulloblastomas, the most common malignant brain tumors in children, in order to find new ways to approach its treatment. She tells us about her role in helping to ensure all children have a chance at a long, healthy future.

Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein

Why are you interested in finding a cure and/or better treatments for medulloblastoma and other brain tumors? Brain tumors are the most common cancer-related cause of death in children. A significant portion of medulloblastomas are of the more aggressive type. These carry an especially poor prognosis with many children succumbing to their disease. Moreover, children who survive medulloblastoma suffer from long term side effects of treatment. Side effects can seriously impair their quality of life, thus impacting them, their families, and society. Therefore, it is important to develop treatments that are both safer and more effective for children with medulloblastoma.

Share your thoughts on why you think it’s important to fund pediatric cancer research. To develop better treatments, it is critical to have a thorough understanding of each cancer’s biology and “what makes it tick”. Since children are not simply ‘little adults’, research on children’s treatments are different than research for adult cancers. Therefore, if we want to improve outcome of children with cancer, it is critical to fund all aspects of pediatric cancer research.

How has the support from PCRF allowed your research to be successful? The research to develop new treatments is very expensive. Funds for such research are very hard to get, since there are many scientists and not enough funds. PCRF’s support is allowing us to conduct a part of our research that would otherwise not be possible, and so it is critical in our work.

Can you tell us something about you not many people know? I love my research and I love my patients. New discoveries in my lab make me extremely happy, especially since I know they are another step in our important work to find better cures.

Learn more about Dr. Anat Erdreich-Epstein research, our impact and the future of curing childhood cancers.

Categories: Researchers