Dr. Sampurna Chatterjee – Emerging Science Research Grant
Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Chatterjee explores reducing side effects of Medulloblastoma, the most common brain tumor in children. Approximately 500 children are diagnosed with medulloblastoma each year in the US. Standard treatment includes surgery with rounds of radiation / chemotherapy. Although doctors have managed to improve survival in kids over the years, high doses of radiation to developing brain leads to terrible late effects in children, such as hearing-loss, blindness, loss of IQ. Not much research has been done in developing safer drugs for children suffering from medulloblastoma to date.
To find better treatments with less severe side effects, it is important to understand the medulloblastoma tumor and the stroma that contains it. With the support from PCRF, Dr. Chatterjee aims to minimize toxic doses of radiation by reducing its dosage. Then by combining low-dose radiation with specific targeted therapies, she aims to develop novel and potent treatments for this deadly disease. Additionally, Dr. Chatterjee is trying to modulate the body’s immune system to recognize and kill tumor cells using low-dose-radiation and targeted therapies leading to improved tumor shrinkage without the morbid toxic side effects. Her ultimate aim is to improve the quality of survivorship in children by bringing this new non-toxic therapy into the clinic as fast as possible.