SPORE Letters of Support

Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, or SPOREs, support state-of-the-art translational research that will contribute to improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of an organ-specific cancer (such as brain cancer). There has never before been a SPORE allocated for the study of childhood brain cancer. 

We invite you or your organization to submit a letter of support on behalf of the CBTTC/PNOC NIH Pediatric Brain Tumor SPORE Grant application. Please email the letter as a .pdf file to Jena Lilly lillyj@email.chop.edu and Ryan Velasco velascor@email.chop.edu by April 30, 2020 according to the instructions outlined below.

Download a Sample Letter of Support

 

Q: What is a SPORE, and why would receiving one be so impactful to the shared mission of CBTTC and PNOC?

  • Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, or SPOREs, are grants available through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support state-of-the-art investigator-initiated translational research that will contribute to improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of an organ-specific cancer (such as brain cancer). There has never before been a SPORE allocated for the study of childhood brain cancer.
  • In fact, currently only 4% of federal public health funding is allocated to the study of all forms of childhood cancer. Although brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children in the U.S. and a leading cause of cancer-related death in children globally, the majority of financial support for childhood brain tumor research comes largely through philanthropic donations and individual grants. 
  • Additional sources of sustainable funding, such as a SPORE grant, are needed to grow and maintain the CBTTC’s biospecimen and data sharing infrastructure as well as improving PNOC’s ability to develop and launch new clinical trials.

 

Q: To whom should I address the letter?

Please address the letter to Adam Resnick, PhD and Michael Prados, MD at the following addresses:

Adam Resnick, PhD                                                                                 Michael Prados, MD
Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine                            University of California San Francisco
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia                                                      1450 3rd Street 
3501 Civic Center Boulevard                                                                  San Francisco, CA, 94158-0520
Philadelphia, PA 19104

 

Q: Should I mail the letter?

    • If possible, please email the letter as a .pdf file to Jena Lilly lillyj@email.chop.edu and Ryan Velasco velascor@email.chop.edu. If that is an issue, you can email an MS Word (or other .doc format) file and the team at CBTTC will assist you. 

 

Q:What points should I highlight in my organizations letter?

    • Your personal narrative, and why you would support this application.
    • That there has never been a pediatric brain tumor SPORE grant, which is crucial to driving clinical translational research on behalf of children with brain tumors.
    • Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children in the U.S. and a leading cause of cancer-related death in children globally.
    • Due to the nature of pediatric brain tumors, this proposal MUST include collaborative efforts, as no one institution sees enough pediatric brain tumors in a year to drive research.
      • SPORE grants are normally given to a single institution. We need to strongly clarify why that can’t be the case for this SPORE. To ensure the success of this grant, as we will indicate multiple collaborative efforts across several institutions.
    • That PNOC and CBTTC have been successful programs, with a key part of this success due to CBTTC and PNOC having worked together very closely over the past decade and involving first-in-kind national and global partnerships across institutions.
    • If you have been supporters, or have appreciated the work of PNOC and CBTTC, please indicate that. 

 

Q: When is the letter needed?

    • If possible, we would love to have the letters in .pdf format emailed to us by April 30, 2020.

 

Q: Should I use letterhead, and from whom should it be signed?

    • Yes, please use letterhead and have it signed by the president of your organization/foundation, key leadership, or of course yourself, if sending a personal letter.

 

Q: Who should I contact with questions?

 

Background:

Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC): PNOC has launched 18 innovative clinical trials for children with brain tumors and has 19 member institutions. PNOC has fostered its growth to currently include 19 academic centers across the United States, with international sites in Canada, Australia, Europe, and soon-to-open sites in India and Israel. (PNOC, https://pnoc.us)

 

Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC): CBTTC has become the largest biorepository of its kind with 17 members across the U.S. and International landscape, linking longitudinally clinically annotated biospecimens including radiological and pathology imaging and genomic data for thousands of children with brain cancer. The CBTTC data centers offer a rich environment for basic and translational research with both patient samples and animal models extensively profiled and available for use for investigators around the globe. (CBTTC, https://cbttc.org)

Analytic tools: Tools include the NIH Gabriella Miller Kids First Data Resources Center (https://kidsfirstdrc.org/), CAVATICA (cavatica,.org), PedcBioPortal (http://pedcbioportal.org/#), which provide the unique opportunity in the context of a SPORE to translate these big data resources for clinical impact.