Children’s National Hospital announced a $96 million investment from an anonymous donor family to transform rare childhood brain tumor research and care. The donation, which strengthens our globally recognized leadership in the field, is one of the largest in the hospital’s history.
Children’s National will harness the investment to recruit more top talent and advance the most promising research. This will produce safer, more effective treatments. It also will elevate standards of care to help children with rare brain tumors thrive for a lifetime.
The big picture
Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors affecting children. They are especially challenging in kids because their brains are still developing. The disease and current treatments can put them at risk for lifelong complications.
The anonymous family’s investment provides new hope for patients who face rare and often challenging brain tumor diagnoses — in the Washington, D.C., community and around the world.
“This incredible partnership will lift up one of the nation’s top pediatric brain tumor programs into the stratosphere,” said Kurt Newman, M.D., president and CEO of Children’s National. “It will immediately propel our best-in-class research and care, allowing us to bring new therapies to children with brain tumors. This fundamentally changes the healthcare journey and long-term outcomes for children and their families.”
Why it’s important
This transformational investment will have a far-reaching impact on our ability to save and improve the lives of children with brain tumors. Funds will fuel collaborative breakthroughs across a range of scientific and psychosocial approaches.
The partnership will supercharge highly individualized and promising treatments for children with brain tumors. We will radically transform the research landscape with a focus on:
- Low intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) – Advancing laboratory research and a clinical program designed to treat childhood brain tumors with LIFU therapy
- Cellular immunotherapy – Testing new gene-engineered immune cell products and accelerating their integration into standards of care
- Rare Brain Tumor Program – Propelling new clinical trials through the hospital’s national and global leadership in pediatric brain tumor consortia. Already, Children’s National is leading a new collaborative with hospitals in North America, South America and Europe to better understand and find novel treatments for these rare diseases
- Neurosurgery innovation – Exploring multiple ways to perform safer, more effective neurosurgery and developing new methods to enhance drug/agent delivery
- Precision medicine – Recruiting leading scientists to advance biology-informed therapies that can be targeted for children across a spectrum of brain tumors
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility – Expanding our GMP, one of the first standalone facilities at a children’s hospital in the country, to translate new discoveries into clinical trials more rapidly
- Additional priorities including expansion of clinical research infrastructure and growth of bioinformatics, brain tumor repository and molecular diagnostics initiatives
The partnership also transforms how we approach care. It will power our pursuit of psychosocial, behavioral health and neuroscientific initiatives to help kids live well and cope with the unique circumstances of their diagnosis. We will focus on:
- Lifetime health and wellness – Building a world-class research and clinical care program to shape a new paradigm for supporting a child’s physical and emotional health during and long after cancer treatment
- Child Mental Health & Behavioral Brain Tumor Lab – Establishing a robust neuro-oncology mental health program that delivers timely interventions and specialized psychiatric care for patient well-being
- Additional priorities including a new Neuroscience Nursing Excellence Program and growth of psychosocial support activities that bring comfort and encouragement to children during their treatment journey
Children’s National is proud to lead the way to a better future for pediatric rare brain tumor patients and expand our internationally recognized capabilities for neuro-oncology care.