Jenny Fund Brain Tumor Research

MGH Translational Brain Tumor IMMUNOLOGY Lab



Lab Director: Dr. William Curry

Associate Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery)
Harvard Medical School
Attending Neurosurgeon
Massachusetts General Hospital

The Jenny Fund's goal is to provide seed funding for data to support grant writing activities for the Translational Brain Tumor Immunology Lab (TBTIL).   

Dr. Curry was Jen's surgeon over her 6 year battle and his dedication to her case along with the other team members at MGH drove Jen to give as much as possible to research through trial opportunities. 

Prior to the Jenny Fund, a GoFundMe was created in Jen's memory.  The generous donations provided $17,000 to help fund initial investigations into the impact the Isocitrate Dehydrogenase (IDH) mutation has on immune response against tumors. 

Research focus areas

  • Over the summer, Dr. Curry and team published a manuscript in Neuro-Oncology detailing how combining vaccination created using genetically modified whole tumor cells, and stimulation of activated T cells by systemic delivery of an antibody against a receptor called OX40 effectively extends survival in mice bearing malignant brain tumors.  What is most interesting to Dr Curry about these studies was the extent to which his team was able to alter the intratumoral environment so that inflammatory cells of all kinds would be more likely to aligned against the tumor cells. 
  • Building on that work, Dr Curry's team is presenting an abstract at the Society of Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting in November (San Francisco) showing the benefits of a triple combination therapy of vaccination + anti-OX40 antibody + anti-PD1 antibody.  We are looking forward to the presentation and will provide an update after the presentation. 
  • Dr Curry's team just began working on a project examining the impact that the IDH mutation status has on the immune response against tumors.  These findings will generate hypotheses about the best immune treatment options for these patients. 
    • This is most relevant to the type of tumor that Jen had.
  • The Final project is an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Curry's colleague Marcela Maus examining the utility of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells (CART) against glioblastoma or other glial tumors.