Center for Children's Brain Tumors
New Patient Coordinator:
The Center for Children’s Brain Tumors (CCBT) team’s goal is to translate our research from the laboratory and deliver it to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Pediatric Neurosurgery patients as a brain or spinal cord tumor treatment or cure.
The CCBT was established in 2004. It is part of the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation & Translational Neurosciences (SINTN).
Our Pediatric Brain Tumor ResearchSome of our research includes:
- Determining a gene’s influence in tumor development. Our researchers discovered in 1996 that mutations in a hedgehog receptor gene called PATCHED resulted in the formation of medulloblastomas, the most common type of brain tumor. Next, we genetically engineered the disease in a mouse.
In a second phase, our team sequenced human medulloblastoma and normal cerebellum. The third phase will be to monitor the progression of tumors by examining early pre-tumors for genetic abnormalities (lesions).
- Use of nanoparticles to treat tumors. Extremely small particles (nanoparticles) are attached to the blood vessel of a tumor. A cancer fighting (chemotherapeutic) drug, radioactive particle, or gene is then attached to the nanoparticle. These attack the tumor’s blood vessels and eventually destroy it.
- Improving medulloblastoma tumor removal. Medullablastoma cells are labeled with a chemical compound. A special type of microscope is used to look for the compound. This provides a better picture of the boundary of the tumor (tumor margin), and allows for more effective removal of the tumor.
- Engineered proteins for cancer therapy. We have designed proteins that hone in on tumors by recognizing signature molecules (biomarkers) expressed on tumor cells. We are using these proteins as carriers to deliver anticancer drugs specifically to brain tumors.
- Identifying new targets for brain tumor immunotherapy. We identify the proteins on the surface of brain tumor cells through gene expression array analysis and by analyzing (via flow cytometry) proteins' presence on the surface of live human brain tumor cells. We then develop antibodies for new immunotherapeutic approaches to eradicate brain tumors. Using a similar approach, we are also working to identify the cell of origin of pediatric brain tumors to target the cancer stem cells and prevent relapse of the tumor.
- Development of anti-CD47 therapy. Solid tumors trick the body’s immune system by using a protein (CD47) that tells the immune system not to destroy the tumor. By using an antibody against CD47, the immune system is induced to "eat" (phagocytose) the tumor cells. The anti-CD47 treatment is being developed for clinical trials for pediatric brain tumors.
Funding Innovative Pediatric Brain Tumor ResearchThe Center for Children’s Brain Tumors's efforts to cure pediatric brain tumors are not limited to work at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine. We offer grants to researchers who have new pediatric brain tumor research ideas that have not been previously funded. Our seed grants help to start new work so researchers can eventually secure longer term funding.
Our TeamCCBT researchers include:
- Doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. They understand brain tumor diseases and how they affect children. Packard Children’s Hospital doctors are also faculty members at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They perform research as part of their roles as faculty members.
- Basic science researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. They study genetics and cell biology and use that information to understand how brain tumors work.