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National Brain Tumor Society Statement on New CDC Report on Pediatric Cancer Death Rates

New Findings Show That Brain Tumors Have Recently Replaced Leukemias as the Deadliest Pediatric Cancer, Accounting for Three out of 10 Cancer Deaths in Children Ages 1-19 in 2014

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - September 16, 2016) - David F. Arons, JD, Chief Executive Officer of the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), today issued the following statement regarding the release of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics Report on Cancer Death Rates in Children & Adolescents (1999-2014):

"This report is a stark reminder that we must re-double our national efforts to find new and more effective treatments for the thousands of children diagnosed each year with pediatric brain tumors.

Pediatric brain tumors have not become deadlier over the years -- survival rates for these patients have stayed relatively flat for decades. The reason these patients now face the highest mortality rates is because while other areas of oncology have made great strides in recent years, pediatric brain tumor research has not generated advances that have translated into meaningful clinical benefit for the most vulnerable patients.

Children with pediatric brain tumors and their parents are raising their hands and volunteering to be involved in clinical trials at a rate that far surpasses adult cancer patients, but unfortunately their courage has not been met with equal investment and progress in research and drug development. As a separate report from the Alliance for Childhood Cancer and American Cancer Society recently found, unique scientific, economic, ethical, and regulatory challenges discourage investment in pediatric cancer R&D from the biopharmaceutical industry. Thus, government and philanthropic sources have to carry a heavier load in terms of providing resources for pediatric cancer research. Yet, historically, even combined, government and philanthropic funds have been insufficient to fill the gap.

Overall, this latest news, highlights the need for greater investment as well as new approaches to funding and conducting pediatric brain tumor research. Further, it underscores why the National Brain Tumor Society, in conjunction with partners including the St. Baldrick's Foundation, announced a major campaign and research initiative this past Monday (September 12) which for the first time seeks to generate sustainable resources for pediatric brain tumor research and drug discovery, and then use those resources to fund an integrated consortium of leading pediatric neuro-oncologists called the Defeat Pediatric Brain Tumors Research Collaborative.

The current mortality rates for children and adolescents diagnosed with pediatric brain tumors is simply unacceptable. These findings show the absolute urgency with which pediatric brain tumors need to be addressed as a biomedical research priority moving forward. National Brain Tumor Society hopes this new report will encourage others to join us in the effort to defeat pediatric brain tumors."

About National Brain Tumor Society
National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the brain tumor community. We are fiercely committed to finding better treatments and driving rapid progress toward a cure for brain tumors. We drive a multi-faceted and thoughtful approach to aggressively influence and fund strategic research, as well as advocate for public policy changes, in order to achieve the greatest impact, results, and progress for brain tumor patients. Money raised by the generous donations of our supporters has directly funded groundbreaking discoveries, programs, clinical trials and policy initiatives. To learn more visit www.braintumor.org

Contact:
Tom Halkin
Senior Manager of Communications
National Brain Tumor Society
Phone: (617) 393-2849
E-Mail: [email protected]

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