The Brain Tumor Center (BTC) hosted its second retreat at the historic Metropolitan Club of New York on Friday, March 5, 2010. More than 60 people attended from ten clinical departments and six SKI programs as well as the external advisory board, the executive board, clinical and basic science fellows, and invited guests. Although the attendees spanned various areas of interest, there was a synergy across programs and departments, which could be attributed to the nearly three years of the BTC's efforts at promoting collaboration among these groups.
The day started with a short presentation on the new Physical Science-Oncology Center established with an $11 million grant from the NCI. This was followed by the keynote address delivered by Paul Mischel, MD, an external advisory board member from the University of California, Los Angeles, speaking about targeted therapies after which four previous BTC grant award winners — Lindy Barrett, PhD, Cancer Biology & Genetics; Robert Young, MD, Department of Radiology; Kathryn Beal, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology; and Timothy Chan, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology — shared the progress they've had on their projects.
The poster session showcased more than 25 posters submitted from previous BTC grant winners as well as fellows from the clinical departments of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Radiation Oncology, and the SKI programs of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Developmental Biology, Molecular Pharmacology, and Molecular Biology. The poster session created an opportunity for junior members to share their work and receive advice from senior BTC faculty.
A panel on molecular characterization was the focus of the afternoon session, moderated by Lisa DeAngelis, MD, Co-Executive Director of the BTC. The panel included BTC grant winners Jason Huse, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program; Cameron Brennan, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program; Andrew Lassman, MD, Department of Neurology; and Ingo Mellinghoff, MD, Department of Neurology, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program. Molecular characterization continues to be a research topic that many believe will lead to more effective tailored treatments for patients.
The retreat ended with presentations, the first by BTC grant winners Oren Becher, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics, on the modeling of brainstem gliomas and the second by Teodoro Pulvirenti, PhD, of the Cell Biology Program, on signaling in gliomas.
Members of the external advisory board in attendance said they found the retreat to be worthwhile and in describing the event echoed one of the BTC's primary goals — bridging clinicians and basic scientists who are interested in brain cancer.
Click here to download the retreat agenda.