CureSearch awards $1.2 million for pediatric cancer research at Georgia Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Georgia

Group of people with a check
Written by Denise Parrish

The national nonprofit CureSearch for Children’s Cancer presented a check Wednesday, June 14, for $1.2 million to help fund promising pediatric cancer research at the Georgia Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

CureSearch awarded David Munn, MD, and Theodore Johnson, MD, at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University with this funding in conjunction with the Catapult Award, which identifies and helps propel high-potential research from the lab into the clinic and, ultimately, to the kids who need it most.

Munn and Johnson have been hard at work for several years, developing anti-tumor therapies for patients with brain cancers that are actively progressing. Initially these patients may have benefitted from the groundbreaking therapy of indoximod, the first-in-class IDO-inhibitor drug developed by Munn and his team in 2015. However, for those children who have become resistant to such treatment, the introduction of ibrutinib may prove successful.

Currently, the focus is on malignant brain tumors. Unfortunately, this is an underserved area of pediatric cancer research and treatment, and there is seldom a pathway of treatment that can offer a cure. The CureSearch funding will help support a Phase 1 trial of ibrutinib/indoximod for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. If successful, the novel treatment could improve the quality of life for patients at Children’s Hospital of Georgia and beyond.

CureSearch is a national nonprofit organization that only funds translational research projects with the strongest potential of becoming a new treatment and quickly reaching pediatric patients. CureSearch’s mission is to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame. To learn more visit

The Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and Fisher Phillips are contributors to CureSearch and helped fund this award.