• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

Promising Grant for Brain Tumor Research Given in Honor of Doylestown Child

Doylestown, Pa. – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, is proud to announce Pray for Dominic, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, created in honor of Dominic Liples from Doylestown, Pa., will support lifesaving childhood cancer research at the University of Florida.

Dr. Lan Hoang-Minh at the University of Florida, is receiving the “Pray for Dominic St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant.” Dr. Hoang-Minh’s research is exploring a powerful method that uses a child’s own immune system to destroy their brain tumors, known as immune cell therapy.

Brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in children. The current treatments are often associated with lifelong mental and motor deficits, and the tumors often recur. The immune cell therapy that Dr. Hoang-Minh is working on has emerged as a very effective and safe treatment for blood cancers and several types of solid tumors. Her project investigates novel approaches to make this immune therapy even more effective and safer. Dr. Hoang-Minh will also follow the fate of therapeutic T cells using a new, non-invasive imaging technology called magnetic particle imaging. The results of these studies are important as they could improve clinical protocols using immune cell therapies for childhood brain tumors and extend or save the lives of children afflicted with those very aggressive cancers.

Dominic was a typical 7-year-old who never needed more than a Band-Aid for his childhood scrapes and bruises. He loved to laugh and to make others laugh with him, he loved his family, friends, and life. Dominic enjoyed going with his family to see all of the Philadelphia sports teams play, and his favorite food was noodles with butter, Parmesan cheese and an enormous helping of ketchup because, for Dominic, ketchup was a food group.

In March 2016, Dominic was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma, a very aggressive malignant brain tumor. He battled for nine months. Treatment included chem including having two major tumor resection surgeries. The second surgery included chemotherapy, radiation, and four brain surgeries. After the fourth surgery, Dominic received an adult immunotherapy drug that was granted for compassionate use. For this treatment to have worked, it would take at least six treatments before any possible improvements could be expected. Due to the aggressive nature of Dominic’s tumor, he was only able to receive two treatments before he passed away.

Dominic’s family, friends, and supporters created the Pray for Dominic Fund, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, to help fund critical research to find cures and lessen the harsh side/late effects of treatment.

Since 2016, this Hero Fund has raised more than $275,000 to support the most-promising childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds are an ongoing way for friends, family members and groups to donate or raise funds to honor a loved one. To learn more about the program, visit the St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund page.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Every 2 minutes a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of pediatric cancer research grants, is on a mission to give kids a lifetime by supporting the most promising research to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. When you give to St. Baldrick’s, you don’t just give to one institution–you give to virtually every institution treating kids with cancer across the U.S. and beyond. As a leader in the pediatric cancer community, St. Baldrick’s works tirelessly to ensure that current and future children diagnosed with cancer will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment from the best leaders in the pediatric oncology field. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #GiveKidsALifetime.