Collaborative Corner

CBTTC Quarterly Newsletter – May 2019

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MAY 2019

Welcome to the CBTTC’s New Quarterly Newsletter

The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) is pleased to present our new quarterly newsletter to you, our partners in childhood brain cancer research.

Since its launch in 2011, the CBTTC has grown into a multi-institutional and multi-national program driving open collaboration across pediatric research disciplines with the mission of uncovering better treatments and finding cures for children suffering from brain and CNS tumors.

Each year, more and more researchers join our efforts by applying for access to CBTTC biospecimens and associated data to empower their research.  Our overall number of patient study participants has grown from around 300 in 2011 to over 3,200 today, contributing over 40,000 samples of blood, saliva, tumor/normal tissue, CSF, and more toward easing the suffering of future generations afflicted with these diseases. We’ve grown to a global network of 16 member institutions, with new sites to be announced in the coming months.

And all along the way, we’ve received unwavering philanthropic and outreach support from dozens of foundations who believe in our mission and have been critical in enabling us to build our infrastructure, data platforms, and research capabilities.

We’re so proud of the work taking place across this network, and are eager to share the CBTTC’s newest developments, research projects, important dates, fundraising efforts, and so much more!

As we cap off our observance of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, we hope you’ll enjoy reading this inaugural edition of our quarterly newsletter.  Please share this new resource with your colleagues, and encourage them to subscribe by visiting


The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium

In this Edition:

CBTTC 2019 Investigators Meeting
Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Investigator & Foundation Spotlights
New CBTTC Biospecimen Projects
New CBTTC Data Projects

CBTTC Investigator Meeting Recap

On Sunday evening, we held an experiment – an interactive experience to engage CBTTC stakeholders in a discussion of “Positive core values” and “Envisioning what could be,” over  three distinct sessions.

The first session kicked off the evening with a cocktail hour, and an opportunity for CBTTC stakeholders across multiple fronts to engage and get to know one another. Attendees were assigned to tables, and prompted to complete 1:1 interviews. There were lively discussions as foundation partners and institution members discussed their backgrounds, and shared vision and goals for CBTTC.

During the second session, participants shared 1:1 table discussions with their tables and the larger group…

Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Every May, foundations, patient groups, hospitals, and researchers around the world call on the public to “Go Gray in May” to raise awareness about Brain Tumors and to encourage public support for research into these often devastating and life-threatening diseases in children and adults.Brain and CNS tumors are the most prevalent form of pediatric cancer in children under age 19, and are currently the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among children and adolescents. Yet only 4% of all federal funding for cancer research is devoted to the study of all forms of childhood cancer.

This lack of public awareness and federal support for the study of pediatric brain tumors has contributed to a woefully low amount of progress made in treatments for children over the last several decades…

New Biospecimen Projects

(Approved Since February 2019)

CBTTC Biospecimen Project 33:
Center for Pediatric Brain Tumor Cell Atlas
Principal Investigator: Kristina Cole, MD; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Histology Focus: High-grade Glioma

CBTTC Biospecimen Project 34:
Pediatric Brain Tumor miRNA Profiling for the Cohort of Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium Specimens
Principal Investigator: Mateusz Koptyra, PhD; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Histology Focus: All Pediatric Brain Tumors

CBTTC Biospecimen Project 35:
Elucidating the Somatic Epigenetic Landscape of Pediatric Meningioma and Schwannoma
Principal Investigator: Sameer Agnihotri, PhD; UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Histology Focus: Meningioma, Schwannoma

CBTTC Biospecimen Project 37:
Project Hope: High-grade Glioma-Omics in Pediatric and AYA
Principal Investigator: Adam Resnick, PhD; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Histology Focus: High-grade Glioma

New Data Projects
(Approved Since February 2019)CBTTC Data Project 40:
Germline mtDNA Variants and Somatic mtDNA Mutations in Pediatric Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Xiaowu Gai, PhD; Children’s Hospital of Los AngelesCBTTC Data Project 41:
The Study of ATRX, ATL and Replicative Stress in Pediatric Brain Tumors/Center for Pediatric Tumor Cell Access
Principal Investigator: Kristina Cole, MD; Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaCBTTC Data Project 42:
Hudson Monash Pediatric Precision Medicine Program
Principal Investigator: Ron Firestein, MD, PhD; Hudson Institute of Medical Research 

CBTTC Data Project 44: 
Long Non-Coding RNA Signature of Medulloblastoma and AT/RT Subtypes
Principal Investigator: Ranjan Perera, PhD; Johns Hopkins University

CBTTC Data Project 45:
Health Disparities of Pediatric Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Angela Waanders, MD, MPH; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

CBTTC Data Project 46:
Access to CBTTC Data for use in Kids First/CAVATICA
Principal Investigator: Amanda Saratsis, MD; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

CBTTC Data Project 47:
Pediatric Brain Tumor Classification and Segmentation using Transfer Learning from Adult Datasets
Principal Investigator: Roy Campbell, PhD; University of Chicago at Urbana-Champaign

CBTTC Data Project 48:
Comprehensive Analysis of Structural Variants in Pediatric Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Lixing Yang, PhD; University of Chicago

CBTTC Data Project 54:
Discover New Therapeutics for DIPG using a Systems-Based Approach
Principal Investigator: Bin Chen, PhD; Michigan State University

CBTTC Data Project 55:
Relationships Between Genomic, Imaging, and Histopathologic Characteristics in Pediatric Brain Tumors
Principal Investigator: Benjamin Hartley, MD; Weill-Cornell Brain and Spine Center

Foundation/Institution News & Events

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Parkway Run/Walk 2019

Sunday, September 29
Eakins Oval, Philadelphia, PA

The CBTTC’s Brain Tumor Avengers will once again assemble to raise money and awareness for childhood brain tumor research by participating in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s annual Parkway Run/Walk event!  100% of the money raised by the Brain Tumor Avengers Parkway Run/Walk team will go toward supporting research at the CBTTC.

We invite you to join our team, and help meet our fundraising goal.  Don’t live near Philadelphia?  You can still join us as a “virtual runner” and help advance CBTTC’s mission to find cures and improve treatments for children diagnosed with brain tumors.

Learn More:

Share YOUR Events with the CBTTC Community!


Does your institution or hospital hold events to raise awareness and funds for childhood brain tumor research?

Are you a foundation organizing a fundraiser to support brain tumor research and/or assist families seeking treatment?

CBTTC Member Institutions and Supporting Foundations are encouraged to share information about their fundraising and awareness efforts in our quarterly newsletter!  Our next edition will be released in August.

Simply fill out our online form with all the information you wish to share.  We look forward to highlighting your upcoming events soon!

Event Submission Form:

Follow the CBTTC On Social Media

Throughout the month of May, the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium has observed #BrainTumorAwarenessMonth by sharing digital content on our Facebook and Twitter channels from many of our supporting foundations and member institutions.

We hoped to highlight the dedication, knowledge, compassion, and courage of patient families, clinicians, foundations, and researchers across the CBTTC network of collaborators by sharing blog posts, personal stories, news articles, resources, videos, and much more this month.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to share the invaluable work being done to ease the suffering of children with brain/CNS tumors at each of our member Institutions and supporting foundations, and hope you’ll follow along on our social media outlets!

Like Us on Facebook at:

Follow Us on Twitter at:

Upcoming Dates

NCI – Childhood Cancer Data Initiative Symposium
July 29 – 31, 2019
Washington, DC
CBTTC Biospecimen Request Period
August 1 – 24, 2019Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September 2019CBTTC Data Requests
Accepted Year-Round

CBTTC Newsletter – Next Edition
August 2019

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Thank you for subscribing to the CBTTC’s quarterly newsletter.  We hope you’ve found the items included in this edition to be informative and engaging.  

As a new avenue for outreach, the CBTTC intends to make improvements and adjustments to each new edition of the newsletter, to ensure we are providing readers with the most useful resource possible.

Please take a moment to review our CBTTC Newsletter Survey, and provide your feedback.  We thank you in advance for your input, and look forward to receiving your comments!

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