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Dr.Carl Koschmann of Michigan Medicine learns that his application to be a part of PNOC was approved. Pictured left to right: Dr. Michael Prados and Dr. Sabine Mueller of PNOC and Dr. Carl Koschmann of Michigan Medicine

Chad Carr’s continuous gift to cancer research has resulted in another exciting development in the fight to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer.

It was announced Tuesday, August 27 at the ChadTough biannual board meeting that the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) would add the University of Michigan’s Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center to their consortium of 18 of the nation’s top childhood cancer centers, all pushing to cure brain tumors in children.

While brain cancer is the deadliest form of childhood cancer, only three cancer drugs have been approved for use in children since 1980, and pediatric brain cancer receives only 1% of federal research funding. PNOC is dedicated to changing this by conducting trials more often and at a quicker pace, while sharing data in real time with other collaborating researchers from around the world. Michigan Medicine will join some of the world’s leading pediatric cancer hospitals from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, including Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer Center, and Children’s Hospital LA.

“The application to be considered for PNOC is by invitation only, and based on our assessments of the strength of programs including investigator profiles, preclinical and clinical strengths, prior experience with early phase clinical trials, and support for clinical research and infrastructure,” explained PNOC Project Leader Dr. Sabine Mueller.

Michigan Medicine was selected largely because of the transformative work being done at the Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center. “The Center has been expanding and exploding over the last year, and we’ve seen a 300% increase in patient referrals,” said Michigan Medicine’s Dr. Carl Koschmann, who will now serve as a clinical trial co-lead with PNOC. “It’s a huge step for our program to be included in PNOC, and allows our patients with high-risk brain tumors—including DIPG—access to some of the most promising clinical trials in the world.”

The PNOC approach of making research accessible in real time with collaborators globally is something the field has never seen before. While the cure for pediatric brain cancer remains to be discovered, the consortium believes the answers could come sooner with this faster, more bold approach to conducting clinical trials. To learn more about the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, visit

by Jennifer DeGregorio