"The patients and families — That’s the stakeholder." - Dr. Michael Prados, highlighting the primary beneficiaries of CBTN's work.
As Michael Prados, MD, Scientific Executive Co-Chair of the Children's Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) steps away from his years with CBTN, it's an opportune moment to reflect on his significant contributions to CBTN, childhood brain tumor research, and the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC). With nearly four decades of experience in Neuro-Oncology, Dr. Prados has been an unwavering force in advancing breakthroughs for brain tumors in both adults and children.
The Path of a Visionary
Dr. Prados' involvement in the realm of children's brain cancer began in 1985 when he joined the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). His commitment to patient care, clinical research, and innovative treatments quickly became evident.
Over the years, he has held pivotal leadership positions and garnered prestigious honors, including the Victor Levin Award from the Society of Neuro-Oncology in 2014. He has published over 350 articles, edited several textbooks, and written numerous book chapters over the years. He has secured continuous NIH/NCI funding since 1994, including within the UCSF Brain Tumor SPORE program. Dr. Pados has been an integral part of esteemed editorial boards at the Journal of Neuro-Oncology and other journals over this period.
Pioneering PNOC: Precision in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology
In 2012, driven by a deep sense of purpose and a keen understanding of the gaps in pediatric neuro-oncology care, Dr. Prados initiated the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC). Recognizing the need for transformative solutions, he developed PNOC to revolutionize pediatric brain tumor care. This multi-institutional consortium, comprising 21 prominent academic centers in the United States as well as centers in Europe, Israel, India, and Egypt, focused on personalized medicine and precision-based clinical trials for young patients. Under Dr. Prados's guidance, now under the leadership of Dr. Sabine Mueller, PNOC has not only accelerated research but also brought renewed hope and improved outcomes to countless children and families worldwide, transcending traditional boundaries and redefining the future of pediatric neuro-oncology.
His passion for personalized medicine has been a driving force behind PNOC, where precision-focused clinical trials for young patients with brain cancer have taken center stage since its inception.
PNOC's success transcends statistics; it has fundamentally improved the lives of young patients and their families. Before PNOC, pediatric neuro-oncology faced limitations in providing cutting-edge care, but now, the consortium offers hope and access to pioneering treatments. PNOC has transformed uncertainty into optimism, making a profound difference in pediatric brain tumor care.
Collaboration and global engagement became the cornerstones of the PNOC mission. The consortium excels in trial development, patient enrollment, and research publications.
Unified Force Within CBTN
"We’re stepping into the next phase of developing real-time data for clinical trial use, to become more sophisticated in how we develop the trials and their statistical components. They have a clear, functional role to play." - Dr. Michael Prados on CBTN's role in advancing clinical trials.
Dr. Prados's impact extended beyond PNOC when he assumed the role of Co-Chair of the Children's Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) Scientific Committee. This role exemplified his dedication to collaboration, as CBTN represented an integral part of the larger pediatric neuro-oncology landscape.
His commitment to bridging the gap between research and clinical care at CBTN has been a driving force in propelling the network's mission forward. His expertise and guidance have been pivotal in extensively leveraging CBTN data resources to fuel innovative research endeavors.
One of his most profound contributions lies in his vision of CBTN's impact on clinical trials. He recognized that CBTN is instrumental in accelerating the pace of clinical trials while simultaneously reducing the number of patients required for these crucial studies. His work has propelled the consortium into a new era of research, focusing on real-time data for clinical trials, advancing trial development sophistication, and strengthening statistical components.
A Legacy of Impact
Dr. Michael Prados' legacy is one of remarkable impact and transformation in pediatric neuro-oncology. His unwavering dedication to improving the lives of children facing brain tumors leaves an indelible mark. His tireless efforts not only have accelerated research but also provided hope to countless families.
As he embarks on the next chapter of his journey, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to him for his monumental contributions to CBTN, pediatric neuro-oncology, and all the lives he has impacted through his work. The path he has paved will continue to guide researchers and clinicians toward unprecedented breakthroughs in the fight against pediatric brain tumors. We are all immeasurably better because of the visionary leadership and dedication of Dr. Michael Prados.