Research Support

Doc researchOne of the central goals of Joshua’s Great Things Foundation is to fund and help speed up the research of cures for pediatric brain tumors. Joshua endured numerous types of treatment over his nine years with limited success and lots of side effects. As the GBM tumor progressed near the end of his life, there was nothing that we nor modern medicine could do. It is an extremely complicated field of knowledge, made more complicated because children respond differently to medicine than adults. There are only a few organizations dedicated to doing brain tumor research for children, so we are hoping to provide additional resources and motivation. There have been very few new chemotherapy drugs or other treatment technologies developed in the last 20+ years that have helped fight brain cancer. We want to give hope to families that something better is coming.


Joshua’s Great Things gave $25,000 to St. Louis Children’s Hospital to support research focusing on ways to determine which drugs are more effective for a specific patient. More information will be shared soon.


January 2016 Project Update

Joshua’s Great Things gave $20,000 to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for further research. Dr. Josh Rubin and his team will be doing a new study which looks at the differences in response of male and female glioblastoma cells to chemotherapy drugs. We hope this will provide a better understanding of what treatments work for each child.

PROJECT UPDATE for St. Louis Children’s Hospital

1)  17 patients have been identified who satisfy the inclusion criteria:
           a. High grade glioma treated with Avastin
           b. Adequate clinical information assess Avastin response
           c. Adequate and properly consented archived tissue for these studies.


2) The lab has hired Jodi Lapidus to perform the experiments. Jodi is a Washington University School of Medicine Student with substantial research experience who is very interested in this work.


3) Preliminary work has been accomplished to optimize the procedures. The work involves extra brain tumor tissue and the reagents that we will use on the subject tissue. This phase of work will be completed within the next month. After that phase is completed, the study work will  begin  in earnest. Anticipated completion of the entire study is mid-summer.

Below describes our first efforts in this area:


pbtf-logoPediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

Joshua’s Great Things Foundation gave $4,000 to PBTF at the August 2014 Ride for Kids in St. Louis. PBTF is the world’s largest non-profit funder of childhood brain tumor research. Joshua was one of their Stars at the Rides for 9 years and had a special relationship with the organizers of that event.

St. Louis Children’s Hospitalcheck_presentation

Joshua’s Great Things Foundation has committed to supporting pediatric brain tumor research at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  In September 2014, we made our first donation of $10,000 to their pediatric oncology research lab. This support provides funds to a study led by Dr. Karen Gauvain.  She will investigate why some brain tumors respond to Avastin therapy and others do not. Avastin is currently the first choice for treatment of many children with relapsed brain tumors. Identifying biomarkers for those children who are not likely to respond to Avastin will save precious time for those children and advance our understanding of how Avastin works. The funding helps support a researcher and a biostatistician, as well as materials that are used in the research.


As the study moves forward, we will provide updates.  Research takes a long time, but it holds a lot of promise for new cures that can help children overcome brain cancer