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How a drug therapy discovered at MCG is helping children with rare form of brain cancer

In 1998, Dr. Ted Johnson, co-founder of the Pediatric Immunotherapy Program at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, and a team of doctors discovered that cancerous tumors manipulate the enzyme indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) in order to bypass the body’s immune system. This discovery has led to the homegrown therapy drug Indoximod, a form of immunotherapy that blocks the IDO enzyme that is being used to treat a rare form of brain cancer in children.

“I can’t say that this treatment is effective at this point,” said Johnson. “We haven’t enrolled enough patients, we haven’t treated enough patients and we’re in the very, very earliest phases of treating any DIPG patients. But if it works at all, it is likely to work across several tumor types that occur in kids.”

The Augusta Chronicle: Drug therapy discovered at MCG being used to treat rare form of brain cancer in children

Jan. 14, 2018

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About the author

Emily Lacey

Emily Lacey is a writer in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 elacey@augusta.edu.