The mission of the Children’s Brain Tumor Project, conducted by researchers at the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center, is to use every resource available to better understand the genetic basis for rare and inoperable brain tumors in children and adolescents, and to design clinical trials and personalized approaches towards therapy.
Most importantly, we will share our data and collaborate with participating partners worldwide. Our goal is to encourage collaboration and take down the barriers that often preclude rapid clinical advancement and dissemination of information.
Thalamic gliomas are just one example of the devastating brain tumors that typically strike children, adolescents and young adults. Because they are so rare, these inoperable tumors simply do not get the funding or attention that research scientists need to find a cure.
The Weill Cornell Children's Brain Tumor Project will offer physicians the unprecedented ability to quickly identify a brain tumor's "fingerprints" at the molecular level. The genomic data allows for personalized tumor therapy and affords new hope to patients — because that information has previously been prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to obtain. The data will be available thanks to a state-of-the-art gene sequencer, which can identify each tumor's unique genomic profile, along with the laboratory staff and research scientists to interpret the data. With that individual genetic information in hand, researchers hope to identify alternative delivery methods and drugs that specifically target each young patient's tumor. That's what makes this project unique: Dr. Greenfield's genetic research dovetails perfectly with Dr. Souweidane's research and clinical trials investigating those innovative delivery systems and agents.
The project is "powered by families" — donations come from the families, friends, and supporters of the children, adolescents and young adults diagnosed with these tumors. In the absence of major funding from government agencies or major foundations, the Children's Brain Tumor Project is supported by those with the most at stake in this battle.