"Being a mother has changed me. The worst thing that can happen to you is to lose a child. I would like to bring hope to families looking for answers. - A/Prof Marta Alonso"


Marta is the Director of the Advanced Therapies lab at the University of Navarra in Spain.

She specialises in the development of oncolytic viruses to treat childhood brain tumours, specifically DIPG (now known as DMG). 

Children with DIPG have a median survival of only 9-11 months, which is simply devastating. DIPG originates from the brain stem, an eloquent and sensitive part of the brain. It controls your subconscious body functions like breathing, heart rate, concentration, and sleep.

Marta is an expert in engineering oncolytic viruses to infect and kill childhood brain cancer while protecting the surrounding healthy parts of a child’s developing brain. The virus is injected directly into the brain stem.

Her lab was the first in the world to bring oncolytic viruses to clinical trial in 2022 on 12 children with DIPG. The early results indicated the therapy is safe and there was a link to increased survival for children with DIPG. These groundbreaking results were published in the most prestigious clinical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine.

Charlie Teo Foundation in partnership with Little Legs Foundation are funding Marta to continue her work to refine this therapy, aiming to make it accessible it all children with DIPG.