Chad Carr

Michigan Medicine gains brain tumor insight studying Chad Carr’s tissue

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By Martin Slagter

ANN ARBOR, MI – Chad Carr’s impact on pediatric brain cancer research has been realized in many ways since his fight with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) became a national story in 2014.

Although Carr lost his battle with DIPG in November 2015 at the age of 5, his impact is still being felt in the realm of DIPG research.

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital announced Thursday, Sept. 14, that Chad’s donated tumor tissue is offering researchers new insight into the genetic mutations that drive DIPG to grow and progress. The first study based on his tumor appears in Nature’s npjPrecision Oncology.

“Typically, with a biopsy, we get a single snapshot of the genetic characteristics of the tumor. That doesn’t always give you an accurate picture because each region of the tumor may be driven by different genetic changes,” said C.S. Mott Pediatric Oncologist Dr. Carl Koshmann, the study’s lead author, in a news release.

“In this case, we were able to sequence and analyze samples from one time point from six different regions of the tumor – which gives us an incredibly rich resource of what we can learn from one DIPG. This goes much further in telling the genetic life story of the tumor.”

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