The Children’s Tumor Foundation, the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to neurofibromatosis research and clinical care, recently hosted its annual premier event – The Children’s Tumor Foundation’s 2016 NF Conference. NF experts, clinicians, researchers, patients and families convened at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas from June 18th through June 21st.
The conference began with a welcome dinner attended by NF clinicians, researchers, and families, at which Dr. David H. Viskochil received the 2016 Von Recklinghausen Award. In special attendance was the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, whose inspirational speech invoked a sense of hope for the NF community, and marked a celebratory commencement to the ensuing days of education and collaboration.
From the treatment of brain tumors and the genetic factors influencing transformation of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) to the psychosocial impact of NF, lectures were presented by NF experts and keynote speakers from related disciplines including oncology, orthopedic surgery, and radiology. Each served to stimulate thoughtful discussion, foster multidisciplinary collaboration, and advance the care of patients and families with NF. Even more incredible was the presence of patients and families with NF – concurrently attending the 2016 NF Forum – sitting side-by-side with NF clinicians and researchers, advancing their own knowledge of their disorder and sharing the common goal of ending NF.
With over 300 multidisciplinary NF clinicians and researchers in attendance from all over the world, the 2016 NF Conference, co-chaired by Michael Fisher, MD (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and Eduard Serra, PhD (Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine, Barcelona, Spain), proved to be an outstanding opportunity to learn about the latest developments in NF research and clinical care.
The Washington University NF Center was well represented, with Drs. John Constantino and Stephanie Morris co-hosting the International NF Autism Consortium Team (INFACT) workshop and Dr. David Gutmann delivering a keynote presentation on optic gliomas in NF1.
Next year’s meeting will be held in Washington DC.