2010 Semi-Annual CERN Meeting

— Categories: Press Release     Posted on April 27, 2010

The third Semi-Annual Meeting for the CERN Foundation was held on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 in the Houstonian Hotel in Houston, Texas.

The day began with a videotaping session of six segments, which will be available on the website. The participants in the videotaping session included clinical study leaders, scientists and foundation members. The videos focus on various topics for both adult and pediatric ependymoma.

The meeting began in the afternoon with introductions of all the CERN members and discussion on current and future research projects. Mr. Charles (Chas) Haynes was presented as the newest member of the CERN Foundation; he joined the consortium in the capacity of Executive Director.

Drug Development

Discussion of drug development efforts being carried out at St. Jude was carried out by Dr. Richard Gilbertson and his team and efforts at MDACC were lead by Drs Waldemar Priebe and Dr. Charles Conrad. They updated the group on the exciting new compounds being researched. These compounds are the hope for the future of ependymoma research.

Laboratory Testing

In Vivo and In Vitro testing efforts currently being conducted at MDACC were presented by Dr. Dimpy Koul. These efforts will assist other scientists within the consortium in testing for compounds and drugs to tackle the ependymoma cancer cells.

Stem Cell Models

The human ependymoma stem cell research being conducted at MDACC was discussed by Dr. Howard Coleman. He informed the group, that prior to CERN efforts, there has never existed any models of molecular subtypes of ependymoma. This type of research will assist us in the future by identifying properties of ependymoma cancer cells, and assist in personalized cancer medicine.

Dr. Richard Gilbertson updated the group on their exciting new mouse model of ependymoma. This is the first model of the disease to be generated. These data together with their comprehensive genomic studies of the human disease has been accepted for be publication in the journal Nature.

That concluded the first day of the meeting proceedings. The second day of meetings, April 15, 2010, began with discussions focusing on issues related to clinical trials.

Clinical Trials

Dr. Mark Gilbert began the discussion on clinical trials. He gave the group an overview of the progress of the current clinical trials. Also, he gave an overview of the Tissue Correlatives study. He informed the group that new institutions will be participating in the Tissue Correlatives study such as Washington University.

He was followed by Dr. Amar Gajjar of St. Jude, who began the discussion on the Pediatric study. He gave the attendees an overview of the study, detailing the objectives, eligibility criteria, and the background on Lapatinib.

Dr. Stewart Goldman of the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and Jin-Shei Lai of Northwestern University presented a Pediatric Quality of Life tool and how it could be integrated into current CERN Foundation research efforts.

Outreach and Education

CERN Foundation’s own, Kim Wallgren, discussed the CERN Foundation’s presence on the web and strategies to increase visibility with the target audience. She discussed the professional mailings, planned quarterly e-newsletters, and launch of the new CERN Foundation video segments.

Dr. Terri Armstrong presented updated information on the Ependymoma Outcomes (EO) Project. She gave an update on current findings and suggested methods to increase enrollment into the program. She also announced the first publication of the Clinical Course and Outcome of Adults with Ependymoma, which was published in Neuro-Oncology.

Pathology and Molecular Profiling

Drs. Ken Aldape and Terri Armstrong of MD Anderson began the discussion with multidimensional profiling of ependymoma. They explained the research being conducted at the institution, describing the methods being used in the research. They updated the group on the addition of two non-CERN member institution to the list of participants, namely Henry Ford Health System and Washington University. Dr. Oliver Bogler presented on his work at MDACC. He discussed the work on the phosphoproteomics of STAT inhibitors.

To bring the meeting to a close, Dr. Mark Gilbert gave a summary of the meeting, highlighting the major pieces of news, such as the upcoming protocols, and the promising use of new compounds in future protocols.

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