Science Nonfiction: Dina, Hepatoblastoma & Visiting Family Inspiration

Science Nonfiction: By Dina Kats

One of the most rewarding things about working at cc-TDI is our community spirit. This past month I got to meet two hepatoblastoma families, the Wilcocks and the Stiversons. It was an honor to hear their stories, present my work, and get their feedback on where they would like to see projects going. Their questions are insightful, and it is gratifying to be able to directly share my work with them, and have the input of their real world clinical experience as parents.

On the science front, we are continuing on looking for new cures for hepatoblastoma. I’ve been working diligently on getting data together for a drug combination that has been very promising. By combining two drugs, we can lower the dosage of either one and improve efficacy. Towards this goal I’ve been continuing to use the Guava EasyCyte and running westerns, as well as slowly but surely getting all of our genetics data on hepatoblastoma together into one place. Other lab activities include taking in and processing some CureFAST samples, with the hope of generating new cell lines and more genetics data for this rare and understudied disease.

In the spirit of community interaction and responsibility, when we discovered that one of the local stray cats had kittens, we made sure to take mom and her kittens to the vet. All of the cats now seem healthy and happy, and we hope to continue to help our local community in the same way we hope to help the greater pediatric cancer community.

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