Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

Basic Science Research

The basic science pediatric neurosurgery research program is aimed at increasing our understanding of how the brain develops and finding new treatments for pediatric brain tumors. Current research projects include:

• Developmental biology of the mammalian brain

• Evaluation of novel therapeutics in a rodent model of brainstem glioma

• Developmental cues in the early embryo regulating medulloblastoma migration

• Developmental biology of the cerebellum and mouse models of medulloblastoma

• Mouse models of medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma, and small molecule inhibitors for cancer therapeutics

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at UCSF: The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States has granted the BTRC an Institute Award to study central nervous system tumors in children. The grant funds five research projects that focus on pediatric brainstem glioma and medulloblastoma.

UCSF is the lead institution for the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) - a network of 11 leading children's hosptials that perform clinical trials of therapies that are specific to the molecular profiles of a patient's tumor. By testing therapies that interfere with specific cellular pathways or mutations after confirming that a patient’s tumor has those characteristics, PNOC trials aim to provide patients with therapies optimized for their tumor type.

UCSF also participates in the Children’s Oncology Group. This is a cooperative group combining the efforts of the major pediatric clinical trials groups based in North America – the Children's Cancer Group, the Pediatric Oncology Group, the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group, and the National Wilms' Tumor Study Group (NWTSG) – to accelerate the search for a cure and prevention of cancer in children and adolescents. Participation in national cooperative clinical trials ensures that patients at UCSF's Pediatric Brain Tumor Center consistently have access to the latest techniques and the newest concepts in treatment for pediatric tumors of the brain and spinal cord. To enroll patients in clinical trials or to find out more information, call (415) 476-3831 or visit our pediatric brain tumor clinical trials page.