Despite great progress in treating other forms of cancers, pediatric brain cancer is still deadly. Brain tumors are the single leading cause of cancer-related death in children under 14.
Existing treatments are so toxic that about 80 percent of children who do survive their diagnosis face years of difficult and painful complications. That is why pediatric brain tumor survivors have the lowest quality of life after treatment than do kids with any other type of pediatric cancer.
For every child who has received this devastating diagnosis, we need better solutions. We need treatments that cure brain cancer without damaging children’s bodies and minds. Thea’s Star of Hope was created with that goal.
Pediatric low-grade gliomas are the most common brain tumors in children. Current treatment strategies using radiation or chemotherapy are often curative but with enormous costs to the childs’ development and long-term function. While other trials leverage the discovery of the mutations that are the cause for approximately 90% of these tumors and use drugs that target these mutations, they are meeting with mixed success, partly due to the incomplete suppression of the mutation and the poor penetration of the currently available drugs into the brain. The TAK580 trial overcomes both of these issues with the identification of a new class of drug (called type II inhibitors) that attack almost all of the different types of mutations causing pediatric low-grade (and some high-grade) brain tumors. Importantly, the lead drug being developed in adult cancers of the body, called TAK580, has excellent penetration into the brain. Pediatric patients are not the focus of pharmaceutical company drug development or testing and so your support to help fund this trial for kids is desperately needed.
The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) is a collaborative, multi-institutional research program dedicated to the study and treatment of childhood brain tumors. The CBTTC supports the research of new prognostic biomarkers and therapies for children with pediatric brain tumors. As part of this research effort, the CBTTC has developed a network of informatics and data applications which allow researchers from across the world to work together to discover cures. “Innovation through collaboration” is made possible by the CBTTC’s state-of-the-art biorepository as well as expertise of leaders in the field of biomedicine.
The CBTTC consists of 16 primary member institutions and the operations center of the CBTTC is located at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and integrates genomic and molecular research, biorepository management and support for the informatics platforms of the CBTTC. This infrastructure serves an important role in the CBTTC’s ability to provide free and open access to brain tumor data to researchers throughout the world.