It’s a Big Step, But it’s Still Just a Step.
This past month Bridge To A Cure partner Children’s Brain Tumor Network received government support for the genetic research of childhood tumors.
As we all know too well, very little federal funding and support (only $1.7 billion of an annual NIH budget that exceeds $42 billion) has been allocated to childhood cancer in the past.
Now, with this government support, the day is drawing closer to when we will unlock the genetic mysteries behind pediatric brain tumors, accelerating the research process.
What does this new support look like?
It doesn’t look like money, but it does look like a hope for an improved future for childhood cancer patients. It looks like progress. It looks like the opportunity we’ve needed to accelerate our search and discovery of new and more effective treatments explicitly designed for kids.
Rather than a monetary grant, the X01 Sequencing and Genotyping Resource Access program will provide critical NIH-supported resources. These additional resources will allow scientific investigators to better conduct and share their research and studies.
As the NIH X01 program recipient, Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) can now unleash information concealed in thousands of tissue samples across all pediatric brain tumor types. These samples have been collected from 26 CBTN member institutions since 2011.
Thanks to this new support, we can now use these samples to attain molecular characterization for thousands of these brain tumor samples.
This will provide an unprecedented level of insight and pave the way for future therapeutic interventions.
This characterization process, named “Project Accelerate,” will prioritize the most aggressive tumor types, supporting research for those cancers where there is a lack of existing data.
The two primary goals of this project are to:
- Empower Discoveries
- Advance Personalized Medicine
CBTN and its partners will reach these goals by connecting, harnessing, and empowering the world’s diverse expertise through collaboration. And this collaboration will lead to accelerated discoveries in research and enable new clinical trials for clinical impact.
Better data access leads to comprehensive data-driven research.
Cancer research has always been data-driven, but the data hasn’t always been available to all investigators. Now, with this influx of government support and the additional resources available, researchers will be able to access, analyze, and share CBTN data on internationally recognized platforms.
This critical government support facilitates a coming together of childhood cancer learnings worldwide. Its access will transform research globally, leading to more progress at faster rates than we’ve ever experienced.
The following comparison is based on a CBTN investigator’s scientific discovery project timeline. It shows what can now be a reality.
Children’s Brain Tumor Network Story.
The CBTN is a network of researchers, clinicians, patients, and foundations from around the globe dedicated to creating a world where no child dies or suffers from a brain tumor.
Their purpose is to unlock the genetic mysteries behind pediatric brain tumors and accelerate the research process. And the hope is that this research will lead to more effective treatments and cures.
The Children’s Brain Tumor Network drives innovative discoveries, pioneers new treatments, and accelerates open science to improve the health of every child and young adult diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Bridge To A Cure Foundation’s role.
As a CBTN partner, our role continues to be 3-fold:
- Help unite and transform the childhood cancer community approach to research by making these millions of data points readily and available to investigators.
- Design a clinical trial process specifically for children.
- Implement a new approach to research funding.
Speaking of funding.
We still need your help. While the NIH has stepped up and offered incredible access to its resources and data, we need money to help facilitate this process.
How much? $1.3 million. Over the next 12 months.
Our cause is more than just a cause. Our cause is the lives of our children, grandchildren, friends, and family. And it’s by all working together that we’ll keep this wheel rolling to our goal of cutting the childhood cancer death rate by 50% by 2030.
Learn more about Project Accelerate on our website.