Blog: The International Symposium on Paediatric Neuro-oncology

Thursday 19 July 2018

Our Research Communications Assistant, Arshiya, gives an overview of the International Symposium on Paediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO)

ISPNO took place in Denver, Colorado earlier this month and saw over 1,200 delegates from 51 countries across all continents and over 830 abstracts submitted.

This international conference brought together a wide variety of people, including established leaders in the field, early career researchers, clinicians, nurses and families personally affected, all working towards a common goal: to defeat childhood brain tumours. Large, international meetings such as ISPNO are a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with the greater scientific community.

Todd Hankinson, a Paediatric Neurosurgeon from Denver, really summed up the importance of the conference:

“ISPNO is the most important meeting we have in paediatric neuro-oncology because it brings together people with multi-disciplinary backgrounds to discuss the management of children with brain and spinal cord tumours, in a setting which is really unique. The support that the meeting gets from groups like The Brain Tumour Charity is critical in allowing the multi-disciplinary international sessions to happen. There is no other context where we can communicate and share ideas like at ISPNO".

As a sponsor of this event, we had a huge presence and our booth (pictured with our CSO Dr David Jenkinson on the left, and our founders Neil and Angela Dickson), got a huge amount of attention.

Importantly, these events give us the opportunity to:

  • Keep up to date with the latest scientific developments and see where the gaps are. This helps us to be focussed and intelligent in our approach to funding research. We need to make sure we are funding the very best research that will help bridge the gaps in knowledge to ultimately find a cure.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration. We know we cannot achieve our ambitious goals of doubling survival and halving the harm alone, and these conferences are a rare opportunity to meet with lots of researchers and organisations to discuss new ideas and ways of working together.
If you have any questions about the research covered at ISPNO 2018, please submit your questions to by 3rd September, 2018. Your questions will be answered after this date.

Professor Stefan Pfister, a renowned expert in paediatric neuro-oncology, explained that the work presented at IPSNO was the result of “a global collaborative effort".

And a lot of work was presented with the days starting with the 'sunrise sessions' at 7am and ending with poster sessions and networking events.

Our very own HeadSmart Fellow, Shaarna also presented at one of the lunchtime sessions. She spoke about the HeadSmart campaign and its impact on reducing the diagnosis time for brain tumours in children in the UK.

The audience were impressed with the campaign and everyone was keen to get symptoms cards afterwards.

Over the course of the event, the latest findings in low- and high-grade childhood brain tumours, quality of life and clinical trials were presented.

The quality of the work being presented and the level of passion and dedication the researchers have to finding a cure was truly inspiring.

If you have any questions about the research covered at ISPNO 2018, please submit your questions to by 3rd September, 2018. Your questions will be answered after this date.

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