Recently, I spent an hour on a zoom call hosted by Zurich Children’s Hospital. What they have accomplished is world class.
The Zurich Children’s Hospital has great clarity and focus plus the committed and competent leadership to implement the mission which is to find a cure for pediatric brain tumours.
They have created a global network of the top researchers in pediatric brain tumours.
The network is a working community of highly collaborative researchers. They share. They inform. They work separately and together. This community is working with the mission of finding a cure for pediatric brain tumours. They are not concerned about fame or fortune.
The researchers were present on the zoom call lead by the key researchers at Zurich Children’s Hospital. Drs Javad Nazarian from the DIPG/MG Center Zurich and Sabine Mueller from UCSF/ the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium were the clear leaders of the entire community. PNOC brings 225 clinicians and researchers together to push for breakthrough. Without effective leadership this could not be accomplished.
The other key participants were the executive directors of family foundations with an interest in pediatric brain tumours. Most had had a personal experience in having lost a child to this lethal disease.
Zurich Children’s Hospital had created a distributed centre of excellence of the top research centres in pediatric brain tumours and the funding sources able to fund the community and the research machine which has over 30 different approaches to curing pediatric brain tumours.
Some of these approaches include using novel agents that disrupt mitochondria in the cancer cells and sono-sensitization which uses a drug to sensitize the cancer cell to high intensity focused ultrasound.
The other dimension of Zurich Children’s Hospital is their clinical outreach. Pediatric brain tumours are rare. To gain the critical mass of patients, the ZCH has a global clinical outreach service which provides clinical assessments and virtual expert opinions for children with brain tumours irrespective of where they live. This allow the ZCH to have the cumulative experience with patients necessary to deeply understand the disease and to have enough patients for the many clinical trials that are organized at and by ZCH.
So the combination of the top researchers in pediatric brain tumours, the biggest database of patients with pediatric brain tumours and a vast inventory of clinical trials with novel agents and technologies plus the committed funding sources presents the highest probability of finding a cure for pediatric brain tumours. Well done Zurich Children’s Hospital.