REQUEST FROM PNOC/CBTTC

LETTERS DUE BY MARCH 16, 2020

We are reaching out to you to request a letter of support for our NIH Pediatric Brain Tumor SPORE grant proposal. After discussing our initial plans with the NCI, we have been strongly encouraged to apply given the unique approach in an area that has never received SPORE funding, childhood brain cancer. The Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC, https://cbttc.org), and Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC, https://pnoc.us), both multi-institutional consortia aimed at accelerating discovery in pediatric brain cancers, will join efforts with a target submission date of September 2020. Our application will be unique; harnessing the power of data-driven research and early phase clinical trials, which involves a very rare patient population and requires, as we see it, a multi-institutional environment in order to conduct this translational research project. The latter is crucial, given the rare number of cases and the need for expertise across many universities and labs. We will need to “encourage” NIH to allow multiple labs across our groups in order to bring forth the best science. Most SPORE applicants come from a single institution, thus our SPORE may push some boundaries. But, we believe we can work with NIH to make this happen with your support. 

The two co-Leaders of the SPORE will be Michael Prados, M.D. at UCSF and Adam Resnick, Ph.D. at CHOP. As the founder and co-Project Leader of the Pacific Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, Dr. Prados will serve as the clinical co-leader for the SPORE, and the PNOC clinical enterprise will serve as the clinical “core”. PNOC currently includes 19 academic centers across the United States, with international sites in Canada, Australia, Europe, and soon-to-open sites in India and Israel. As the Scientific Leader of the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, Dr. Adam Resnick will serve as the Scientific co-Leader for the SPORE. The CBTTC, under his direction, is the largest biorepository of its kind, 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. Together the two consortia have underpinned the development of large-scale cloud resources and discovery platforms including the recently-launched NIH Kids First Data Resources Center (https://kidsfirstdrc.org/), providing the unique opportunity in the context of a SPORE to translate these big data resources for clinical impact. The CBTTC and PNOC have a strong and interactive relationship that has been developed over the years, with the common vision to rapidly improve translational research that informs clinical trial strategies. 

We plan to present our initial research strategy to the NCI leadership in May 2020, ideally then to submit our grant in September, for potential funding in 2021. 

Understanding how very busy you are, we nonetheless hope you could contribute a letter of support for this effort. Our hope is to have as many LOS we can get and are reaching out to you and a number of other foundations, organizations, companies, and individuals. Please let us know if you are interested. If helpful, we have attached an FAQ for your review. If you wish to contribute, we respectfully ask for letters by March 16th, 2020.