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In 2009 Kristen Gillette began speaking with Dr. Peter Phillips, then Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Neuro-Oncology Program, about a collaborative effort he and Dr. Tom Curran were starting among the country’s leading pediatric institutions. Seeking collaborative efforts where researchers work together rather than compete, The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF) began funding the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) from inception. A rebranding in October 2020 renamed this entity the Children’s Brain Tumor Network. (CBTN). (see CBTN timeline below)

The Children’s Brain Tumor Network drives innovative discoveries, pioneers new treatments and accelerates open science to improve the health of every child and young adult diagnosed with a brain tumor.

The CBTN consists of over 25 global institutions sharing expertise, specimens and data to accelerate the finding of less toxic, more effective treatments and cures for children with brain tumors around the world. KRF continues to support its amazing growth. What sets the CBTN apart from other biorepositories is the immediate and free availability of data for any researcher in the world, with the caveat that all information resulting from its use be shared back for everyone’s use. CBTN has helped to create a paradigm shift in the way pediatric cancer research is done. Researchers using this data are less concerned with competing with one another to get credit for a discovery, than they are in collaborating to accelerate findings to help save our children.

A representative of the CHOP Foundation expressed in an annual report, “It is impossible to know how many patients’ lives have been — or will be — improved or saved thanks to this expression of Kortney Rose’s legacy. However, the lion’s share of their funds helped make possible the CBTN — the first-of-its-kind pediatric brain tumor biorepository. Since its launch in 2013, the CBTN has collected more than 30,000 brain tumor samples from over 3,000 patients. The genetic information is housed in CAVATICA, [the first ever pediatric cancer cloud] which has also been supported by the Kortney Rose Foundation.”

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