Bypassing the Blood Brain Barriers to Improve Drug Delivery to Tumor in the Central Nervous System

Forum Chairs

Oren
Becher
,
MD
Northwestern University
Robert
Wechsler-Reya
,
PhD
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Forum Description

There is insufficient attention and research on how to circumvent the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) when in comes to the treatment of tumors in the central nervous system. There are numerous clinical trials initiated using novel agents to treat brain tumors without adequate preclinical evaluation of whether the new agents actually cross the blood-brain-barrier. The goal of the meeting is to bring together basic scientists of the blood-brain-barrier with translational physicians who treat tumors in the central nervous system to come up with new strategies to overcome the blood-brain-barrier. There was a similar meeting organized by the Forbeck foundation in 1988. Now 22 years later, it is time to reconvene a new meeting on the topic to bring forth new ideas and plans to overcome the BBB as it is still a significant obstacle. We now have improved research tools that would allow us to investigate this problem in greater depth. While there are blood-brain-barrier meetings taking place, there are very basic and do not focus on improving drug delivery for tumors located in the central nervous system. This meeting also has applications to neuroblastoma (NB) as with improved therapies, more children with NB present with recurrent neuroblastoma to the central nervous system.

The end-product of this meeting will be new collaborations and renewed focus on this challenging scientific problem with significant medical implications. A manuscript will be written up from this meeting and submitted to the Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

Forum Summary

This year’s focus meeting was on the blood-brain-barrier took place in Santa Monica, CA from February 23rd-26th, making the second time the foundation has held a meeting on this important topic (the prior meeting on this topic was held in 1988 and was chaired by Dr. Arnold Freeman). Seventeen leading researchers, spanning five countries and three continents, came together to discuss the latest research advances on the biology of the blood-brain-barrier. The meeting centered around brainstorming together and coming up with novel approaches to bypass this barrier, which is a major impediment to drug delivery in the treatment of central nervous system diseases.

An important realization was made that there is no one standard assay to evaluate a priori whether a novel therapeutic agent will bypass the blood-brain-barrier effectively when used to treat human central nervous system diseases. Many other exciting discussions were held regarding the innovative approaches the participants of this meeting were developing to bypass the barrier. Even though this topic has been studies for some time, there were still heated debates about some of the basic principles of the blood-brain barrier, confirming the need for more basic research to develop a greater in-depth understanding of this complicated protective mechanism.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Forbeck foundation for sponsoring this focus meeting. The meeting was very much aligned with the mission of the foundation and although not all of the participants were researching the blood-brain-barrier as it pertains specifically to pediatric cancer, there is enthusiasm to move this particular field forward through the sharing of reagents and collaborations. It is our hope that future advances in the treatment of brain and spine tumors may be ignited as a result of this meeting.

Venue & Travel Information

Travel Forms

TRAVEL FORMS DUE:
January 23, 2012
submit travel form

Travel Policy

Please familiarize yourself with our policies and procedures for travel. We truly appreciate you taking the time to participate in this meeting. As you make your plans, please remember that we are a nonprofit organization dependent on donations and volunteers. We do NOT pay for upgrades, change fees, incurred costs resulting from a flight change, transportation to or from your local (home side) airport, meals or other incidentals.

  • Travel Confirmation will be sent out within 1 week of the meeting. This will include a hotel confirmation number, if there is one, and airport transfer details. We have to wait until we receive almost everyone’s travel to book airport transfer. Due to frequent airline changes, we wait until the week of the meeting to send this out.
  • Airport transfer is provided by Foundation staff, volunteers or arranged shuttle at specific times. If you opt to utilize Foundation airport transportation on your travel form, please be patient in receiving this information. We will send it to the week of the meeting.
  • Speaker agenda is not sent out prior to the meeting. It will be provided upon arrival in the meeting packet. We do not tell people when they are speaking because we expect everyone to attend all sessions. Sessions are all day Friday and Saturday.
  • REMINDER: We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling. We will not honor miscellaneous receipts sent for these expenses.
  • Spouses are welcome to come with you at their own cost but are not allowed to attend the meeting. Please no children.

What the Foundation Pays

Accommodations and meals are provided by the foundation during the meeting. Airfare will be covered only if booked through our travel agent. The Foundation will also cover airport transportation on the meeting side at the designated shuttle times. You can select not to utilize Foundation arranged transportation at your own expense when completing the travel form. Once your travel form is received your accommodations and airport transfer will be confirmed. Please let us know of any food allergies or other information we should be aware of on the travel forms.

  • If you would like your airfare covered by the Foundation, you must book with our travel agent. Note we do not cover upgrades, changes, late bookings, etc.
  • Flights must be booked at least 30 days prior to the meeting to confirm your accommodations and airport transfer.
  • As a nonprofit we utilize volunteers and other methods to maximize our efforts (or our donor support) when making accommodations and arranging ground transportation. Ground transportation will be provided upon your arrival either by a foundation volunteer or arranged shuttle. You will be provided airport transportation information the week of the meeting. We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling.

Abstracts

Abstracts are due 30 days prior to the start of the meeting to allow enough time to prepare the meeting book.

The abstracts should be only one or two paragraphs outlining the theme of your presentation and should reflect the objective and spirit of the meeting (see above). Abstracts will be circulated about one week before the meeting. The meeting organizer will start requesting them a month before the meeting.

abstracts DUE:
January 23, 2012
submit abstract

Meeting Structure

The meeting structure has been developed over years of experience.

  • Participants have approximately 45 minutes, depending on the number of participants, for their presentation and discussion. The presentation is meant as a conversation start and should last about twenty minutes briefly covering background information and areas that are new or need further input. This should be structured in such a way as to lead to a lively discussion. Participants are encouraged to interrupt to ask questions or start discussions.
  • A MAXIMUM of 5 slide equivalents per presentation is allowed (Power point slides should not contain more than one graph or gel per slide and no more than 5 bullet points to stress the points being made by the presenter.) We appreciate cooperation with the spirit of this guideline. Handouts are welcome but should be distributed before sessions.
  • Everyone is expected to actively participate in every session and discussions.
  • The time spent at the meeting is relatively short, so please be familiar with papers received prior to the meeting.
  • It is very important that you commit to all sessions of the 2 days of meetings.

Forbeck Scholars Participation

Scholars are selected for each Forbeck Forum. These are outstanding junior clinical or post-doctoral fellows selected based on the quality and relevance of science.

  • Scholars present for 30-45 minutes, depending on the number of participants
  • The same presentation rules apply for scholars
  • After the Forum you are selected to attend, you will attend three years of Scholar Retreats held in Lake Geneva, WI. If you attend a Fall Forum, you will attend the Spring Retreat. If you attend a Spring Forum you will attend a Fall Retreat.
  • Scholars are selected by the Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and peer reviewers selected from past Forbeck Scholars.

General Program

The outline below illustrates a typical program schedule. You will receive a complete schedule, including speaking times, the Thursday the meeting starts.

Thursday
1:00 PM Arrivals
6:30 PM Cocktails (opt'l)
7:30 PM Dinner
Friday
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Scientific Sessions
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Scientific Sessions
6:30 PM Cocktails & Dinner
Saturday
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Scientific Sessions
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Scientific Sessions
6:30 PM Cocktails & Dinner
Sunday
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Departures

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have something new to ask, please feel free to contact us.

  • Travel Confirmation will be sent out within 1 week of the meeting. This will include a hotel confirmation number, if there is one, and airport transfer details. We have to wait until we receive almost everyone’s travel to book airport transfer. Due to frequent airline changes, we wait until the week of the meeting to send this out.
  • Airport transfer is provided by Foundation staff, volunteers or arranged shuttle at specific times. If you opt to utilize Foundation airport transportation on your travel form, please be patient in receiving this information. We will send it to the week of the meeting.
  • Speaker agenda is not sent out prior to the meeting. It will be provided upon arrival in the meeting packet. We do not tell people when they are speaking because we expect everyone to attend all sessions. Sessions are all day Friday and Saturday.
  • Frequently airport transfer is provided by volunteers. Please be patient on receiving this information. Airport transfer will be sent out prior to arrival.
  • REMINDER: We do not reimburse for home side airport transfer or incidentals while traveling. We will not honor miscellaneous receipts sent for these expenses.

COVID Policies and Updates

Scholars are selected for each Forbeck Forum. These are outstanding junior clinical or post-doctoral fellows selected based on the quality and relevance of science.

  • Everyone must be vaccinated to participate.
  • We require proof of a recent test or provide rapid testing upon arrival. We will try to find resources for you to arrange specific testing for your return flight, if required to travel.
  • Masks are optional unless mandated by local law and regulations.

Forum Participants

Ingolf E.
Blasig
,
PhD
(FMP) Forschungsverbund Berlin, e.V.
William
Elmquist
,
Pharm D, PhD
University of Minnesota
Gerry
Grant
,
MD
Duke University
Eric
Holland
,
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Damir
Janigro
,
PhD
Lerner Research Institute
Aaron J.
Johnson
,
PhD
Mayo Clinic
Russel
Lonser
,
MD
National Institutes of Health
Ruth Viola
Lyck
,
PhD
Theodor Kocher Institut
Edward
Neuwelt
,
MD
Oregon Health & Science University
John
Ohlfest
,
PhD
University of Minnesota
William
Pardridge
,
MD
UCLA
Arie
Reijerkerk
,
PhD
VU Medical Center
Eric
Shusta
,
PhD
University of Wisconsin
Kwang
Sik Kim
,
MD
Johns Hopkins Medical Institute
Mark
Souweidane
,
MD
Cornell
Danica
Stanimirovic
,
PhD
National Research Council of Canada
Tetsuya
Terasaki
,
PhD
Tohoku University

Forum Scholars

No Scholars attended this meeting