The Brain Tumor Institute

Packer_RUpdate from Dr. Packer, Director of the Brain Tumor Institute: December 2010

In the last year there have been new advances in the understanding of both malignant gliomas and medulloblastomas. The molecular underpinnings of these tumors are becoming clearer and new therapies are in testing. At the Children’s National Medical Center, they have opened a trail using an innovative oral antiangiogenic drug, through the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium. The hope is that this drug, in combination with others will be effective in the treatment of childhood malignant gliomas.
This year they have recruited two young physicians, both are focused on bringing new therapies to childhood brain tumors. One graduated from Duke University and work centers on testing new therapies for medulloblastomas. The other is from Baylor University and is focused on bringing new therapies for malignant gliomas. This doctor is also a Chair of a study for children with brain stem gliomas through the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.
They are also close to recruiting a physician from Boston Children’s to lead their investigations into the molecular genetics of childhood malignant tumors including medulloblastomas and high-grade gliomas. Doctors continue to work n the proteomics of childhood brain tumors. They also have a new laboratory focusing on childhood high-grade gliomas.


Today: 9 families in the United States will learn their child has been diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumor.

Today: 3 families in the United States will mourn the loss of their child.

There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors.

Only two (2) new brain tumor treatments have been approved in the past 25 years!

Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children under the age of 15 and account for approximately 20% of all cancers diagnosed in children.

An estimated 4,030 new cases of childhood primary non-malignant and malignant brain and central nervous system tumors are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2010.  Of those 4,030 new cases, an estimated 2,880 will be in children less than 15 years of age. (CBTRUS)

The prevalence rate for all pediatric primary brain and central nervous system tumors was estimated at 35.4 per 100,000 with more than 28,000 children estimated to be living with this diagnosis in the U.S. in 2004. (CBTRUS)

Quality of life for pediatric brain tumor survivors are influenced by the long term side effects of such as physical problems, chinges in mood, feelings, thinking, learning or memory and even new cancers.

Brain and spinal cord tumors may cause common symptoms that begin long before diagnosis and continue for months even years after diagnosis.

[CBTRUS=Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States]