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National Brain Tumor Society 2013 Summit Celebrates Advances in Research and Policy, Honors Community Leaders

Published on November 21, 2013 in Press Release

National Brain Tumor Society, the largest nonprofit dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States, hosted its 2013 Summit in Cambridge, MA, on October 3-6. The annual event brought together leaders from medical academia, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and nonprofit organizations, as well as patients, survivors, and families to highlight research and public policy progress, discuss key initiatives, and honor leaders from the brain tumor community.

A major theme of this year’s Summit was that the brain tumor field, for both adult and pediatric communities, is entering a new era, which will bring historic change in the way research is funded and conducted, and in turn advance more and better therapies toward the clinic.

“This year’s National Brain Tumor Society Summit, in many ways, was a testament to the momentum created over the past few years by the many dedicated individuals working to find better treatments and a cure for brain tumors,” said National Brain Tumor Society CEO, N. Paul TonThat. “Last year, the key theme was collaboration, and how the field was embracing more scientific communication and teamwork. In the 12 short months since, we’ve seen that by bringing the various stakeholders together and working in synergy we can create some truly exciting projects that are now beginning to change the landscape of this disease.”

The Summit’s Annual Meeting keynote speaker was Dr. Webster Cavenee of Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the University of California San Diego, who described current research and policy initiatives, namely the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, a subsidiary of the National Brain Tumor Society, as creating a “historic inflexion point” for the field. Michael Nathanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, followed Dr. Cavenee with a state of the organization address, which showcased the National Brain Tumor Society’s latest strategic initiatives, including the Clinical Trial Endpoints Initiative and Advancing Research to Therapies (ART) for Brain Tumors program; both of which are poised to serve as catalysts for change at different points within the drug discovery and development pipeline.

During the Summit’s State of Research Breakfast, Dr. Michael Prados (University of California at San Francisco) and Dr. Josef Scafidi (Children’s National Medical Center) joined the National Brain Tumor Society’s Senior Director of Research, Carrie Treadwell, in discussing how advances in molecular profiling of pediatric brain tumors are leading to the development of new targeted therapies that can be safe and effective for the developing brains of children. Treadwell also re-emphasized the Organization’s continued commitment to pediatrics, as well as the desire to foster growing collaboration and communication within all areas.

The 2013 Summit concluded on Sunday, October 6th with the 4th annual Boston Brain Tumor Walk at Carson Beach in Boston, which drew 3,000 participants and raised nearly $600,000.

Sponsored by The Colony Group, the Summit was attended by luminaries from across the drug development spectrum, including researchers from top institutions such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the Mayo Clinic; biotech and pharmaceutical company executives from Genentech and Pfizer; and life science VC executives from MedImmune Ventures and SR One.

National Brain Tumor Society also honored the following individuals and families for their steadfast commitment to the brain tumor community:

  • Lionel and Sandy Chaiken (Community Leadership for Programs/Events) – Co-founders of Race for Hope – DC, the largest brain tumor fundraising event in the U.S.
  • Liz Salmi (Community Leadership for Awareness) – National Brain Tumor Society State Lead Advocate for California and founder of the Liz Army blog.
  • Dr. David Louis (Feldman Founder’s Award for outstanding contributions to the field) – Pathologist-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and Benjamin Castleman Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and current National Brain Tumor Society Oligodendroglioma Research Fund grant recipient.

To learn more about the National Brain Tumor Society 2013 Summit including a full list of speakers, presentation topics, awards, event highlights, and photos, visit:

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