top of page

Research Update

Pediatric Brain Tumor Research in The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY

The Project To Cure Foundation has supported pediatric brain tumor research at the Feinstein Institute for almost two decades. Dr. Marc Symons headed this research. With the help of PTC and our supporters, two clinical trials were carried out by our team of professionals at Cohen Children's Medical Center. 

In December of 2020, Dr. Marc Symons retired from the Feinstein Institute. Although disappointed by this news, Dr. Symons' research and clinical trials were passed down to other researchers at Feinstein. They continue to carry on in the areas where he left off while conducting their own research targeting cancerous brain tumors.

PTC has newly partnered with Dr. Hae-Ri Song who was recently recruited to the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Cohen Children's Medical Center and The Feinstein Institute of Medical Research at Northwell Health. Dr. Song is both a pediatric neurologist as well as a physician-scientist and her research partially funded by PTC is picking up where Dr. Marc Symons left off.


Research supported by the Project To Cure Foundation has thus far led to the publication of nine research papers, see below.


Publications supported by the Project To Cure Foundation:


  1. Salhia B et al. The guanine nucleotide exchange factors Trio, Ect2, and Vav3 mediate the invasive behavior of glioblastoma. 2008, American Journal of Pathology, 173:1828-38.

  2. Zavarella S et al. Role of Rac1-regulated signaling in medulloblastoma invasion. 2009, Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics, 4: 97-104.

  3. Vanan I et al. Role of a DNA damage checkpoint pathway in ionizing radiation-induced glioblastoma cell migration and invasion. 2012. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 32: 1199-208.

  4. Kwiatkowska A et al. Role of the small GTPase RhoG in glioblastoma cell invasion. 2012. Molecular Cancer, 11:65 doi:10.1186/1476-4598-11-65.

  5. Murray DW et al. Guanine nucleotide exchange factor Dock7 mediates HGF-induced glioblastoma cell invasion via Rac activation. 2014. British Journal of Cancer, 110:1307-15.

  6. Miller IS et al. Semapimod sensitizes glioblastoma tumors to ionizing radiation by targeting microglia. 2014. PLOS ONE, 9(5):e95885.

  7. Markowitz  D et al. Pharmacological inhibition of the protein kinase MRK/ZAK radiosensitizes medulloblastoma. 2016. Molecular Cancer Therapy, 15: 1799-808.  

  8. De Witt M et al. Repurposing mebendazole as a replacement for vincristine for the treatment of brain tumors. 2017. Molecular Medicine, epub.

  9. Markowitz D, Ha G, Ruggieri R and Symons M. 2017. Microtubule-targeting agents can sensitize cancer cells to ionizing radiation by an interphase-based mechanism. Onco Targets Ther. 10: 5633-5642.

Published Articles

bottom of page