DIPG Pediatric Brain Cancer Has Claimed the Lives of South Mississippi Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today agreed to be a lead cosponsor of a Senate resolution calling for greater awareness of DIPG Pediatric Brain Cancer, a rare disease that has claimed the lives of three children in South Mississippi over an eight-year period.

The resolution would designate Friday, May 17, as “DIPG Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness Day.”  The measure also encourages greater research on this disease, formally known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumors, and pediatric cancers in general.

“DIPG childhood cancers are so heartbreaking because there is no known cause or cure for this disease.  Our hearts go out to the Mississippi families affected by DIPG, and I believe researchers should continue working toward finding treatments and cures,” Hyde-Smith said.

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee with jurisdiction over funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  In this role, she has supported record funding for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute within NIH.

The DIPG Pediatric Brain Cancer resolution was introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and cosponsored by Senators Hyde-Smith, Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).

The resolution calls for a better understanding and public awareness of the disease, more effective treatments, and advances in research on pediatric cancers. 

The Sun-Herald newspaper in Biloxi last year published a six-part investigative series on the deaths from DIPG of three children from Ocean Springs.  Each year the disease affects about 200-400 American children, only 2 percent of whom will survive five years after being diagnosed.