cc-TDI Researcher Andy Woods Publishes New Wilms’ Tumor Research Findings in Honor of His Daughter Thanks to Generous Foundation and Community Crowdfunding Support

BEAVERTON, Ore., Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Wilms’ tumor is the most common form of kidney cancer in pediatrics, affecting approximately 500 children per year in North America. "Children with Wilms’ tumors driven by a gene called MYCN, particularly those with anaplastic (or unfavorable) histology, tend to fare more poorly than those without MYCN abnormalities.  MYCN has been notoriously challenging to block," said Michael Ortiz, MD, Assistant Attending at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and co-author on the study. "Our rigorous investigation used a focused drug screen and found that BRD4 inhibition was a promising novel approach to target MYCN driven Wilms’ tumors.  These findings were then validated in a large cohort of cell line and patient derived xenograft Wilms tumor models with encouraging results worthy of consideration in future clinical studies."

The study was led by cc-TDI researcher Andy Woods and was inspired by his daughter, an anaplastic Wilms’ tumor survivor. "Stellablue was diagnosed with Wilms tumor when she was just 4 years old. For me," Andy says, "the thought of losing our daughter threw me into super-Dad mode, I wanted to fight this as hard as we could, no matter what we had to do." What Andy decided to do was a bit extraordinary. "I recognized that we needed more-promising treatment options for children like Stella and it became my goal to make this a reality. I poured over scientific journals, spending all of my free time learning the language of science and cancer, looking for research which might be promising for Wilms’ tumor."  Andy was hooked. He had become passionate about children with cancer, science, and cancer research. And while Andy’s daughter has since made a full recovery, he has made it his mission to continue studying Wilms’ tumor in Stella’s honor.

"What makes these results exciting is that MYCN has not been targeted in Wilms’ tumor before," Andy says. "Our study potentially provides the pre-clinical rationale for a new therapeutic approach in Wilms’ tumor."  The article, Bromodomain 4 inhibition leads to MYCN downregulation in Wilms’ tumor will be published in the December 2021 issue of Pediatric Blood & Cancer. An online ahead of print link may be found at:

"Andy’s story is unique, being the father of an anaplastic Wilms’ tumor survivor and coming from the background of being a college-educated stone and tile mason," comments Charles Keller MD, cc-TDI’s founder and Andy’s mentor.  "The often-fatal prognosis for his daughter moved Andy to understand cancer biology and then to enter the field of cancer research, ultimately studying his daughter’s type of cancer (and emerging as a published world expert). From our initial meeting to his position today as a Senior Research Associate at cc-TDI, Andy has displayed a high level of determination and dedication to making a difference not only for his daughter, but also for the many other children who suffer from pediatric cancer. In my 21 years of training high school students, college students, medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, Andy ranks in the top 0.0001% for grit."

For more information regarding this study or Andy’s research, please contact Erika at

This scientific study was sponsored by a significant number of pediatric foundations and the Wilms’ tumor community at large. Using a jigsaw approach to funding, this research was made possible thanks to the generous support from the following foundations, community partners and crowdfunding support. Thank you to the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and CURE Childhood Cancer Foundation; The Truth 365; Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer; Joey’s Wings; Alex’s Army; Unravel Pediatric Cancer; The Bozeman 3; Hope from Harper; Cancer Center Support, Grant Number: P30 CA008748; The Paulie Strong Foundation; The Grayson Fund; Willens Family Fund; Hyundai Hope on Wheels; Cannonball Kids Cancer; Cookies for Kids Cancer; The Starr Cancer Consortium; Conquer Cancer; ASCO Foundation, Grant Number: NCI K12 CA184746; Sam Day Foundation; Childhood Cancer Project.

About cc-TDI: The Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI), ( is a non-profit biotech organization whose mission is to translate scientific discovery into clinical trials by understanding and providing new disease-specific treatment options for children with cancer. cc-TDI’s research team of biologists and biomedical engineers, work closely to identify targets on cancer cells and provide evidence-based testing for the selection of new drugs to be used in childhood cancer phase I and phase II clinical trials.

cc-TDI Media Contact: Erika Ellis, Communications Lead (
/ 503-985-6016).  Social media: Facebook and Twitter @cctdilab, Instagram @cctdi, LinkedIn @Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute.

SOURCE Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute