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NF Conference Preview: Advances in Clinical Trials and Clinical Care

This blog entry was written by Dr. Kim Hunter-Schaedle and posted by Garrett Gleeson.

The upcoming 2010 NF Conference features a packed program of scientific and clinical presentations, but perhaps the most anticipated will be the opening session, chaired by Dr. Roger Packer (Children’s National Medical Center) and Dr. Kathryn North (University of Sydney). The session will feature updates on a number of major ongoing neurofibromatosis clinical trials (though such is their number that updates on additional trials will be reported later in the Conference). The NF community now has a number of NF1 clinical trials underway including trials for plexiform neurofibromas learning disabilities and next, optic pathway glioma, and these continue to expand; Dr. Brigitte Widemann (National Cancer Institute) will review ‘lessons learned’ in these past few years of implementing NF1 trials. NF2 clinical trials have also commenced with an initial focus on the key tumor, vestibular schwannoma; these will be presented, and Dr. Bradley Welling (Ohio State University) will give a reprise of the Foundation’s recent Las Vegas ‘State of the Trial’ Workshop including plans to update the consensus guidelines for how NF2 trials should be conducted.    Dr. Jay Gibbs (AstraZeneca, and also Chair of the CTF NF Preclinical Consortium Oversight Committee) will offer a perspective on potential next-in-line drug candidates for NF trials.

Also well represented on the 2010 agenda are advances in the resources that clinicians need to give patients the best possible clinical care.  Prior to the NF Conference, CTF staff will host a networking forum for NF clinic coordinators – often the first and most prominent point of contacts for patients visiting and NF clinic. And three-dimensional imaging of tumors is gradually becoming integrated into clinical care as well as clinical trials; advances in this area will be presented at the NF Conference. And an entire evening of the Conference hosted by Dr. Ros Ferner (Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Trust, London) and Dr. Bob Listernick (Northwestern University)  will be dedicated to a ‘clinical care satellite’ where physicians will share wisdom on clinical management approaches and on challenging cases of NF that they have managed.