Families of children with brain tumors have held false hopes that research advances were progressing rapidly. This is NOT the case. Historically, research on pediatric brain tumors has lagged behind advancements in other children’s cancers, such as childhood leukemia, due to lack of funding. As a result, many new drugs have not been tested on children’s brain tumors, and clinical studies have been stalled.
But it is time for this to change. And A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure (aka The PLGA Foundation) has spent the past 8 years making in-roads in the scientific world and changing the direction for pediatric brain cancer research.
Beginning in May 2005, the founding families for A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure Foundation, all with children battling the most common forms of pediatric brain tumors, convened the first world-wide PLGA/JPA Symposium. World leaders/experts, in the pediatric brain tumor field joined together for a two day conference to discuss possible research study strategies targeted at the most common forms of children’s brain tumors – PLGA. They determined that, given recent technological scientific advances, current research initiatives would be poised to make progress if funding were available. (See the Executive Summary of the JPA/PLGA Workshop)
Inspired by the words of the scientists and determined to find more effective treatments for their children, and all children battling brain tumors, the fundraising efforts began. As scientists realized that there was funding available, they too turned their attention to the disease.
In June 2008, the PLGA Foundation co-sponsored (with the Brain Tumor Society) a Low Grade Glioma Symposium at the International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncologists (ISPNO) meeting in Chicago. The international meeting brought together over 900 physicians/clinicians/care givers from around the world and the Low Grade Glioma Symposium was attended by over 500 of these experts. Never before has there been such a strong interest in this critically under researched area. Two keynote speakers and twenty abstracts held the attention of this group for over four hours. From this strong showing came an increased pool of talented researchers who applied for grants through the PLGA Foundation (dba A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure Foundation) and other pediatric brain tumor foundations, focusing on targeted research initiatives to improve brain tumor treatment options.
Building on this momentum, the PLGA Foundation sponsored yet another world-wide gathering of experts at the 2012 ISPNO meeting in Toronto, Canada. The session, sold out within the first week, reviewed progress in the field and enabled interested scientists and clinicians an opportunity to collaborate on their findings and share ideas which has accelerated momentum once again.
In this short video, Dr. Roger Packer and Dr. Mark Kieran share with the audience some of their insights into the potential for an accelerated pace of brain tumor research based on the new, collaborative focus of medical experts around the world.
Finding less toxic and more effective treatments for children with brain tumors will be possible through the collaboration of all interested parties. Most importantly, with the new-found spirit of collaboration between all medical disciplines as well as lay person resources (parent, families, caregivers, etc.) the possibility of finding these new treatments and a cure is even more realistic.
Creating a consistent funding stream to support these motivated and brilliant experts is the next obstacle that must be overcome. A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure welcomes support from all like-minded individuals, corporations and foundations…Unite to fight kids’ brain tumors.