Maryam Fouladi, M.D., MSc, Chairman, Steering Committee
James Boyett, Ph.D., Executive Director, Operations and Biostatistics Center
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Childrens National Medical Center (Washington, DC), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Duke University, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Texas Children's Cancer Center, and University of Pittsburgh.
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) was formed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1999 to improve the treatment of primary brain tumors in children. The participating academic centers and children's hospitals are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of the majority of children with primary brain tumors in the United States.
The PBTC's primary objective is to rapidly conduct novel phase I and II clinical evaluations of new therapeutic drugs, new biological therapies, treatment delivery technologies and radiation treatment strategies in children from infancy to 21 years of age with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. A second objective is to characterize reliable markers and predictors (direct or surrogate) of brain tumors' responses to new therapies. The Consortium conducts research on brain tumor specimens in the laboratory to further understand the biology of pediatric brain tumors.
A third objective is to develop and coordinate innovative neuro-imaging techniques. Through the PBTC's Neuro-Imaging Center, formed in May 2000, research to evaluate new treatment response criteria and neuro-imaging methods to understand regional brain effects is in progress. These imaging techniques can also advance understanding of significant neuro-toxicity in a developing child's central nervous system. The Neuro-Imaging Center is supported in part by private sources - grants from foundations and non-profit organizations - in addition to the NCI.
To accomplish its objectives, the PBTC has an Operations and Biostatistics Center (OBC), that centrally manages the administration and data. Data collection from the research studies employs a secure electronic data transfer system which is convenient for the member institutions to use. The OBC provides progressive statistical designs for use in the PBTC research studies and data analyses support. In addition to their NCI grant support, member institutions receive special funds to support patient research care costs associated with neuro-imaging and correlative biology studies as well as pharmacokinetic analyses.
The PBTC has a direct working relationship with the Children's Oncology Group (COG) to ensure that results from phase I and II trials can be confirmed through additional phase II and multi-agent phase III clinical trials in the COG. Results from PBTC studies are presented at professional meetings and reported in the published literature.