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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 09/25/08

Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) was formed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1999 as a clinical trials organization dedicated to translating innovative therapies from the laboratory to early phase clinical testing so that treatment for primary brain tumors in children can be improved. The importance of the PBTC is highlighted by the continuing high mortality rate among some common brain tumor histotypes occurring in children (e.g., brainstem gliomas, malignant supratentorial gliomas, infant brain tumors, and recurrent embryonal tumors or ependymomas) and the functional impediments apparent in a large proportion of children surviving current therapies.

  • The PBTC's primary objective is to rapidly conduct novel phase I and II clinical evaluations of new therapeutic drugs, new biological therapies, treatment delivery technologies and radiation treatment strategies in children from infancy to 21 years of age with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors.
  • A second objective is to characterize reliable markers and predictors (direct or surrogate) of brain tumors' responses to new therapies. The Consortium conducts research on brain tumor specimens in the laboratory to further understand the biology of pediatric brain tumors.
  • A third objective is to develop and coordinate the incorporation of innovative neuro-imaging techniques into clinical trials for children with brain tumors.

The PBTC has a direct working relationship with the Children's Oncology Group (COG) to ensure that results from phase I and II trials can be confirmed through additional phase II and multi-agent phase III clinical trials in the COG. Results from PBTC studies are presented at professional meetings and reported in the published literature.