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Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) Launches First-of-Its-Kind Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas


September 20, 2018


More than 2,500 childhood brain tumor samples available to researchers within Cavatica.

The world’s most comprehensive collection of childhood brain tumor data is now available with the launch of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas (PBTA). For a child with a brain tumor, this means researchers have greater potential to find more productive therapies for them faster than ever before.

For researchers, it means more time doing true research and less time searching.  The launch of the PBTA continues the work we’ve been doing with the international Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), which exists to remove the traditional silos of the research landscape by providing open access to specimens and data to accelerate discovery. Previously, the scientific community has only had limited, decades-old treatments for brain tumors. The CBTTC is working for our children to bring together researchers across the world to defeat pediatric brain cancer. To save children. To send them to high school and college. To give them a future.

“This atlas shows a real effort to find cures faster and put our children first,” says Amada Haddock co-founder and president of Dragon Master Foundation. “It is also a tremendously impressive from a data collection and sharing standpoint. Even though brain tumors remain the leading cause of cancer-related death in children, brain cancer is considered a rare disease,” she continues, “most people don’t realize there are actually many different types of brain cancer and subtypes within those. The largest hospitals would take decades to amass enough of each to enable personalized medicine.”

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas represents data collected from more than 1,000 subjects and 30 unique brain tumor types and is staged for further growth. Uniquely, these records are being made available at the time they have been sequenced and uploaded, instead of being hoarded while papers are published.

Prior to the launch of Cavatica in 2016, data sharing between institutions required shipping external hard drives between investigators. This process takes an incredible amount of time; time these children don’t have. Through the PBTA, researchers will now be able to view and analyze large-scale data within a cloud-based environment in real time. For the first time, MRI images, whole genome and RNA sequencing, coupled with highly annotated clinical data like reports and histology are available for free to researchers around the world.

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