Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Receives $650,000 Donation to Advance Brain Tumor Research and Discoveries Within the Children’s Brain Tumor Network

Published on in CHOP News

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced today that it has received a donation of $650,000 from the Lilabean Foundation for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research (LBF) to support “Project Accelerate,” a program within the Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) to advance the pace of translational research and the discoveries of new treatments for children and young adults with brain tumors. CBTN is a multi-institutional brain tumor research program with its operations housed at the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) at CHOP.

“Brain tumors are the leading cause of disease-related death in children in countries around the world, yet no drug has been developed specifically to treat pediatric brain tumors,” said Adam Resnick, PhD, Co-Director of the Center for D3b at CHOP and Scientific Co-Chair of CBTN. “With the support of the Lilabean Foundation, we are one step closer in identifying new treatment strategies that lead to new clinical trials and ultimately cures for brain tumor patients.”

In what began as only four member sites devoted to data sharing in 2013, CBTN is now a global consortium of 28 institutions throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S., who together are establishing a new standard of care for patients by sharing data, resources and expertise to accelerate and improve discoveries. Collectively, they created the first, and now largest, clinically annotated biorepository with real-time query abilities with the opportunity to unlock and analyze specimens to understand their molecular structures. However, the windfall of data has posed a capacity challenge.

CBTN’s boost in funding from LBF will allow CBTN to hire more data engineers and bioinformaticians to increase its capacity to process and empower the data for use in research worldwide.

"We are honored to support Project Accelerate and the CBTN team as we work together towards safer, more effective treatments for children like my daughter Lila,” said Nicole Giroux, Founder and Executive Director of LBF.

“This will be the first time that this much data about pediatric brain tumors will be available instantly to researchers, which has the potential to change the landscape of pediatric brain tumor research and care, as well as help find the answers for each child with a brain tumor,” said Dr. Resnick.

The Lilabean Foundation is a CBTN Executive Council member and to date has funded more than $2 million for childhood brain cancer research over the span of 10 years. Based in Washington, DC, LBF was founded in 2012 by Nicole Giroux in honor of her daughter, Lila, who was diagnosed with a low-grade glioma at 15 months old. Since her diagnosis, Lila has been on many different chemotherapy regimens, and the Giroux family has seen firsthand the urgent need for research to inform safer treatment options. The Lilabean Foundation’s mission is to fund critical childhood brain cancer research and raise awareness of the severity of the disease. 

The funding is complementary to recent funding from the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Contact: Jennifer Lee, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 267-426-6084 or leej41@chop.edu