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Leading the Development of the International Research Consortium for Pediatric Brain Tumors

January 10, 2020

Amanda M. Saratsis, MDIn January 2020, Lurie Children’s pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Amanda Saratsis collaborated with colleagues at Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris, France, and at the Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Centre of Expertise in Zurich, Switzerland.

The scientific work of Dr. Saratsis has already been recognized by the National Institutes of Health with a K08 Career Development Grant in 2016 for her research, which focuses on pediatric glioma. Now, due to her pioneering work to develop a liquid biopsy technique, aimed to more safely and effectively diagnose and treat deep-seated pediatric brain tumors using small samples of clinically accessible specimens, such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), clinicians and scientists around the world have taken notice: they now work together to advance these techniques and incorporate this approach into existing and future clinical trials.

Working with these international teams and other colleagues throughout the US, she is also exploring the utility of novel surgical techniques, including ultrasound and catheter-based drug delivery systems, to improve pediatric brain tumor treatment. Given her role as a pediatric neurosurgeon with special expertise in advanced gene and protein sequencing methodology, she adds unique capability to this elite global network of glioma researchers, pushing the field forward in an accelerated way.

"Pediatric brain tumor research and clinical care is no longer an individual institution enterprise: it requires a precision-medicine approach that takes into account each patient’s unique tumor biology in real time. The only way we can truly make advances in the field at a rapid enough pace to help our patients is by bringing together an international collaboration of clinicians and researchers with complementary capabilities, to be able to bring about advances that were never possible before. This is such an exciting time, and it is such an honor for the Saratsis Lab to be a part of it. Lurie Children's Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine together provide an incredible environment in which to work towards achieving this goal," says Dr. Saratsis.