BTTC 2013 Annual Meeting

The sixth annual Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC) meeting was held on February 8, 2013 in Houston, TX.

Over 80 members discussed the expanding portfolio of BTTC studies (9 either open or in the pipeline). The BTTC is a growing network with the expertise and the desire to participate in state-of-the-art clinical trials investigating new treatments for malignant brain tumors.

Dr. Mark Gilbert, Principal Investigator of BTTC, welcomed members to the meeting and introduced new BTTC centers: Aurora Healthcare (Dr. George Bobustuc), Case Western (Dr. Lisa Rogers), Columbia University (Dr. Andrew Lassman), Rush Unitersity (Dr. Nina Paleologos), US Oncology (Dr. Morris Groves), University of Minnesota (Dr. Sean Grimm) and Washington University (Dr. David Tran). Dr. Gilbert emphasized that we do have the capability to do cutting edge studies with novel designs.

Clinical Trials

Dr. Jeffrey Raizer presented the BTTC08-01 clinical trial: A phase II study of Bevacizumab and Erlotinib after radiation therapy and Temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma without MGMT promoter methylation. This trial is completed and the results were encouraging. Another discussion, led by Dr. Jeffrey Raizer, BTTC09-01: A phase I-II trial Everolimus and Sorafenib in patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas. This study was recently launched on September 25, 2012, with rapid accrual. Dr. Jing Wu and Dr. Vinay Puduvalli discussed the BTTC11-02 clinical trial: A phase I/II adaptive randomized trial of Bevacizumab and Vorinostat in adults with recurrent GBM. Accrual has been brisk and there is great enthusiasm for this study.

Dr. Andrew Norden discussed the BTTC11-01 clinical trial: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Lacosamide for seizure prophylaxis in patients with high-grade gliomas. This study was launched on July 14, 2011 and is currently open for accrual. As the meeting continued, members of BTTC presented and discussed possible upcoming studies and research concepts.

Matt Anthony, President of Head for the Cure (HFTC), gave an update on the Head for the Cure Foundation and its growth and expansion.  He showed the progressive increase in financial support for the BTTC and the enthusiastic participation of several of the BTTC sites and investigators in getting the HFTC run to their cities, including: St. Louis (Dr. David Tran) and Austin (Dr. Morris Groves). There was a positive response from members and enthusiasm about the new sites that are in the planning stages. The 10-year history of the HFTC is a compelling story and one that Matt clearly described - it resonates with patients, families and even those not facing the challenge of a brain tumor.

Harry Campbell, HFTC Board of Directors Member, provided the second half of the keynote address. He described how he got involved in the HFTC to support his friend, Matt, then found out later that his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor. That evolved into his fundraising mechanism by his book writing and speaking for Get Real Leadership.  His heartfelt talk put additional perspective on the critical mission of the BTTC.

The meeting concluded with the members having a good understating of the current status of the BTTC and encouraged about its future. In the spirit of the collaboration, the group gathered for picture donning this year’s HFTC shirt!