On June 26th and 27th, 2009, over 60 researchers and clinicians from 6 different countries, representing 24 different major medical institutions united at the first “Advancing basic and translational research in Low Grade Astrocytoma – A Trials Consensus and Research Planning Meeting” in Nottingham, England.

Over 60 researchers and clinicians from 6 different countries, representing 24 different major medical institutions

Hosted by Dr. David Walker* at the University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Center, and co-sponsored by the PLGA Foundation, the purpose of the meeting was to bring together scientists and clinicians interested in brain development, cancer genetics, drug mechanisms and delivery as well as clinical trial development. By so doing this would promote a conversation between individuals already involved in exploring the most recent scientific and clinical developments relevant to childhood PA in order to develop evidence-based novel hypotheses and research strategies, through novel collaborations in order to promote new avenues of basic, applied and translational research linked to aetiology, factors determining natural history and response to treatment as well as optimised methods for future clinical trials.

The agenda for the two day program explored the following topics:

  • LGG clinical picture/scientific paradigm
  • Regional physiology of early human brain growth
  • Neurofibromatosis ontogeny of brain changes
  • Genetics of pilocytic astrocytoma  BRAF etc
  • Biology of NF associated optic glioma
  • New agents for LGG candidates and preliminary evidence
  • Conference Dinner:֠ University of Nottingham Senate Chamber
  • LGG trials design definitions and analyses
  • LGG risk factors/groups
  • Biobanks

The five collaborative projects that emerged from the conference, as indicated below, will form the basis for the next conference which will be organized and hosted by Dr. Stewart Goldman in Chicago in 2010. The projects are as follows:

1. Meta-analysis of trials datasets linking European and US study groups

Co-ordinator:Ҡ Roger Packer in collaboration with Richard Sposto/Astrid Gnekow/David Walker/Jo Fen Liu/Joann Ater/Susan Picton/Tore Stokland

2. Genome-wide screening blood samples for unbiased analysis of mutations

Co-ordinator: Richard Houlston/Jo Fen Liu/David Walker/Jacques Grill/Amar Gajjar/Mark Kieran/Stewart Goldman/Uri Tabori/Giorgio Perilongo/Susan Lindsay/Joshua Rubin and other collaborating biobanks welcome

3. Biobank tissue collaboration network

Mark Kieran/Denise Sheer/Peter Collins/Peter Lichter/ Ute Bartels/Torsten Pietsch/David Ellison/Charles Eberhart/Felice Giangaspero/Jacques Grill/Richard Grundy/Joshua Rubin

4. Low grade glioma new agents and development group

Darren Hargrave/Jacques Grill/Amar Gajjar/Eric Bouffet

5. Imaging development network

Andrew Peet/Gilbert Vezina/Frederic Dhermain/Rob Dineen/Tim Jaspan

Progress in each of these areas will demonstrate that not only was the conference a success at the time, but will establish the basis for major collaboration going on over a number of years into the future.”

*Dr. Walker worked in concert with SIOP International Consortium of Childhood Low Grade Glioma and COG Low Grade Glioma Group to identify candidates for participation as well as mutually agreed upon topics for discussion.