In support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration across the international scientific community, PBTF proudly returned as presenting sponsor of the Society for NeuroOncology’s (SNO) Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research Conference, which took place virtually June 10-12, 2021. This biennial event encourages sharing ideas, forming new collaborations, and offering attendees updates in pediatric brain tumor research. PBTF also participated in SNO’s new Education Day Program, addressing the critical importance of the relationship between foundations and the pharmaceutical industry in drug development. PBTF was the founding Presenting Sponsor of SNO’s PNORC and remains proud to have held that position since the first symposium in 2011.
2021 Edition: Due to ongoing pandemic concerns, this year’s meeting was held virtually with live-streamed presentations from experts highlighting advances in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology. New this year, SNO specifically designed an Education Day for neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, pathologists, scientists, and allied health professionals treating pediatric patients with brain tumors, metastases, and neurologic complications of cancer. In keeping with the mission of both SNO and PBTF, the common goal was to provide attendees with updated viewpoints, strategies, collaboration opportunities, and an increased knowledge base to maximize treatment, deliver the highest quality of care, and improve the outcome for cancer patients.
PBTF President and CEO Courtney Davies says that, given its history and mission, PBTF is a natural fit to sponsor the conference and was excited to also come on board this year as a co-presenter at Education Day. “Continuing our Presenting Sponsorship role is an integral part of the PBTF vision to further global cooperation across scientific disciplines to find better treatment for diseases that fall under the pediatric brain tumor umbrella,” says Davies.
“We are pleased to partner again with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The foundation recognizes the importance of promoting advances in neuro-oncology through education and research that will change the lives of pediatric cancer patients for the better, forever,” says Chas Haynes, SNO’s Executive Director. “Their support strengthens SNO’s Pediatric Research Conference as a nexus for engagement among SNO’s global membership with pharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy organizations, and philanthropic foundations to form a larger neuro-oncology community that is energized and dedicated to progress in this field.”
Collaboration in the Spotlight: In addition to sponsoring the conference, PBTF’s Amy Weinstein, National Director, Research Investments & Advocacy, co-presented with Day One Biopharmaceuticals’ Michael Cox, Vice President, Clinical Development on June 12. In their session “Foundations and Pharma: Forwarding Drug Development – Focusing on the Role of Foundations in Feeding the Drug Pipeline and Pharma in Shepherding a Promising Drug Over the Development Finish Line,” Weinstein and Cox shared a drug development success story that began with the PLGA Fund at PBTF providing seed funding for novel targeted therapy concepts in the early stages of the drug development pipeline. While not all projects proved efficacy, one specific drug compound did show early signs for success through a Phase I clinical trial. But without the help of a newly launched, pediatric-focused pharmaceutical company, it would not have made it into Phase III. Now, this promising drug compound and others have hope for continued development. The story highlights the key role that philanthropic support plays in the drug development pipeline and the handoff to the pharmaceutical industry for the later stages of successful drug development.
“PBTF is thrilled to be able to tell the success story behind Day101 (formerly TAK580) and the critical role that foundations play as they provide seed funding to researchers exploring novel concepts at the basic science, translational, and preclinical/clinical phases of pediatric drug development,” says Weinstein. “That seed funding ‘primes the pump’ for companies like Day One Biopharmaceuticals to take the most promising of these clinical trials across the finish line in developing the drugs for broader markets and audiences.”
Global collaboration in the scientific and healthcare communities is the single most important ingredient in accelerating our pursuit of a cure for pediatric brain tumors. PBTF’s support of academic-driven international research symposiums like SNO’s has helped turbo-charge exploration and identification of key gaps in scientific knowledge and educate the broadest spectrum of clinicians on the most promising scientific and clinical practices. Learn more about PBTF’s investment in the international research community here.
About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
Every day, 13 children and teens are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the deadliest and most common form of cancer in kids under 15. Every day after, they are in a fight for their life. It’s a fight the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is here to help families win. A leader in the brain tumor and childhood cancer communities, PBTF’s mission of Care. Cure. Thrive. reflects its commitment to curing all pediatric brain tumors and transforming how children and their families are cared for. Since 1991, PBTF has provided strategic leadership and funding to accelerate the number of targeted therapies for children battling brain tumors today, while equipping families with the patient family education, financial relief, and emotional support they need to navigate their child’s journey. A world without childhood brain tumors is possible when we stand together to effect real, meaningful change. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.