Collaborative Corner

Nation’s Largest Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Announced


The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium will collaborate as part of a $20 million dollar comprehensive molecular analysis project funded by the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Children’s Hyundai Genomics Program via a grant from the Chan Soon Shiong Family Foundation. The project’s goal is to generate and release genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data from 1,600 patients ‎in next six months, which will represent the nation’s largest brain tumor atlas to date.

PHILADELPHIA – Nov. 1, 2016 – The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) announced today the launch of a major initiative to embark on one of the world’s most ambitious pediatric sequencing discovery projects to date. This initiative will focus on the largest killer of pediatric cancer patients today: childhood brain tumors. Financial support for the initiative is provided by a grant from the Chan Soon Shiong Family Foundation. 

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Project, the first project of Pediatric Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, brings together CBTTC member institutions including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Hyundai Cancer Genomic Program at CHOC Children’s Hospital to perform approximately 4,800 whole genome tumor and normal RNA analyses for more than 1,600 children diagnosed with brain tumors. Sequencing will be performed under contract by Nantomics, providing access for the first time to a comprehensive suite of analyses including whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing and tumor proteomics.

“There are 28,000 children age 0-18 with brain tumors in the United States. Over 4,600 children are newly diagnosed each year,” stated Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, Chairman and CEO of NantWorks and leader of Cancer Break Through 2020. “Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer related death in children. It is not only our privilege, but it’s our moral imperative to act rapidly and to share the analysis of this large tumor atlas with the scientists who can use it in the war against this deadly disease.”

According to, there have only been four FDA approved drugs to treat pediatric brain tumors in the past 30 years. Between 1998 and 2014, there were 78 investigational brain tumor drugs that entered the clinical trial evaluation process. Of those, 75 failed. That is a 25:1 failure ratio in developing new brain tumor treatments over the past two decades.

Dr. Lennie Sender, Executive Director of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer added, “There is tremendous lack of progress in the treatment of brain tumors in children, which makes this such an important project. It is the first major initiative of the pediatric consortium since its launch in Phoenix on February 18, 2015.”

“Over the last three months at CHOP, we evaluated the Nantomics GPS Cancer test in brain tumor samples and compared data quality and findings across other platforms . Our conclusions were that this was the most comprehensive proteomic genomic analysis we have seen to date and provided significantly more information to the research community. The possibility now to establish an atlas with comprehensive genomics and proteomics information will be a major advance in our fight against cancer,” said Adam C. Resnick, PhD, Director of the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We are grateful that the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and has made this $20 million award to CHOC to the bring together these important visions to fruition. I believe this is a perfect synergy of efforts to lead to discovery.”

About The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium

The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium is a multi-institutional, collaborative research partnership dedicated to improving treatments and outcomes for children diagnosed with brain tumors.  The nucleus of the CBTTC is a state-of-the-art biorepository and informatics portal, which allows researchers from all over the world to access high-quality genomic and clinical tumor data. The CBTTC is currently composed of 13 member institutions from around the world including the operations center located at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Member institutions of the CBTTC include Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Seattle Children’s Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Meyer Children’s Hospital (Florence, Italy), Children’s National Health System, Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Hackensack University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and the University of California, Santa Cruz – Treehouse Child Cancer Initiative. For more information, visit

Contact:  Adam Resnick, PhD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,, 301-728-4653



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