HDFCCC and Kure It Announce UCSF Grant Recipient for Underfunded Cancer Research

Dr. Sabine Mueller selected for grant to support innovative, translational pediatric brain cancer research.

By Karen Gehrman    |   HDFCCC Communications | April 29, 2015


Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD.

Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD.

The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California, San Francisco and Kure It Cancer Research are pleased to announce that Sabine Mueller, M.D., Ph.D., will receive a 2015 HDFCCC-Kure It Cancer Research Grant for Underfunded Cancer Research.

The Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) partnered with Kure It Cancer Research to provide a grant for underfunded cancer research. Funds are provided by a $100,000 award from Kure It Cancer Research, and will be matched with $100,000 from the HDFCCC for a single two-year award of $200,000.  Kure It awards this grant in the name of the California Self Storage Association (CSSA).  The CSSA is a pivotal partner of Kure It Cancer Research, and members of the association have contributed the funds for this important grant.

Mueller’s project “Using Hyperpolarized 13C Pyruvate to Assess Response in Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – A Non-invasive Response Biomarker” aims to develop tools that would allow assessment of early response to drugs that treat children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

“Children with DIPG continue to have a dismal prognosis with an average of only 9-months survival after diagnosis. No clinical progress has been made over the last several decades, and almost all affected children die from the disease,” said Dr. Mueller, a pediatric neurology specialist.

“We hypothesize that a major reason accounting for treatment failure [in DIPG] is the presence of tight blood-brain and blood-tumor barriers. Many of the [drugs] being evaluated in clinical trials are chosen empirically, and knowledge about [drug] penetration [into the brain] is often unknown. Therefore, it is crucial to develop tools that would allow assessment of early response and be markers of penetration [of drugs into the brain tumor].” Sabine Mueller is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pediatrics, and a member of the Pediatric Malignancies Program of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.

“Given her background as a trained child neurologist and neurooncologist, [Dr. Mueller] is poised to answer critical questions that will improve long-term outcome for children with brain tumors,” offered S. Andrew Josephson MD, Acting Chair of the Department of Neurology at UCSF.

Kure It Cancer Research ( was established in 2010 to fill the gap in funding and place cancer research dollars directly into the hands of the investigators. To date, Kure It Cancer Research has raised more than $3.7 million for cancer research.  With this remarkable standard of giving, Kure It is able to directly support groundbreaking research at leading cancer centers across the nation.

Read more at HDFCCC Communications