Why support the Initiative


The search for a



Medulloblastoma is the most common brain cancer in children and accounts for almost one-fifth of all childhood brain tumors worldwide.

However, funding for medulloblastoma research is hard to come by because childhood cancer – any type of cancer – is considered a “rare disease”, as the number of children affected is much smaller compared to the number of adults with cancer.

However, funding for medulloblastoma research is hard to come by because childhood cancer – any type of cancer – is considered a “rare disease”, as the number of children affected is much smaller compared to the number of adults with cancer.

Less research into pediatric cancer means more toxic treatments, more adverse effects, and, in some cases, little chance of survival. And that's where the MBI’s work comes in.

The only way to find a cure for medulloblastoma is to integrate the work of several laboratories, with an absolute focus on Group 4 medulloblastoma. This is the proposal of the Cure Group 4 Consortium, made possible by The Medulloblastoma Initiative, the MBI.

This type of broad, collaborative research has received very little funding to date. The laboratories of the Cure Group 4 Consortium are committed to working together, sharing data before it is even published, and accelerating the development of effective treatment protocols, with the goal of developing new therapies in a short time frame — one to two years — rather than the five to ten years that are normally expected.

In the first 6 months of work (started in 2021), the Consortium has already implemented innovative models and made new discoveries about Group 4 medulloblastoma.

And, from 2024, we will have the first clinical studies with children. Let's find the cure!

“With the right support, it will be possible to achieve a therapeutic approach much more quickly — 18 to 24 months, instead of 3 to 5 years.”

Roger J. Packer, M. D.

Director, Gilbert Neurofibromatosis Institute and Brain Tumor
Institute, Children’s National Hospital.


Dr. Roger J. Packer

Dr Roger J. Packer, creator and principal investigator of the Cure Group Four Consortium, is a world-leading expert in clinical and scientific neuro-oncology research. Dr. Packer began his research career in 1981. Since then, he has been intensely devoted to researching medulloblastoma, seeking to identify its cause and pattern of spread and find more effective treatments for medulloblastoma and other aggressive pediatric brain tumors.

Dr. Packer participated in the first study that clearly showed that adding chemotherapy to standard care was beneficial in children with medulloblastoma. This study helped increase the proportion of children who survive medulloblastoma. Now, Dr. Packer leads the Cure Group Four Consortium, which aims – based on a body of knowledge acquired over 40 years and with financial support from the MBI – to unravel the molecular and immune basis of medulloblastoma and rapidly develop a new treatment strategy. .


Meet our lead

Roger J. Packer

M.D., Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C

Eugene Hwang

M.D., Children’s
National Hospital

Robert Wechsler

Reya, Ph.D.,
Columbia University, New York

Duane Mitchell

M.D., Ph.D.,
M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida

Michael Taylor

M.D., Ph.D.,
Texas Children’s Hospital

Vijay Ramaswamy

M.D., Ph.D.,
SickKids, Toronto, Canada

Yanxin Pei

Children’s National Hospital

Brian Rood

Children’s National Hospital Conrad

Sheila Singh

M.D., Ph.D.,
M.D., Ph.D., McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Tobey MacDonald

M.D., Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta

Lena M. Kutscher

Heidelberg University, Germany

Stefan Pfister

Heidelberg University, Germany

Dalia Haydar

Pharm.D., Ph.D.,
Children’s National Hospital

Javad Nazarian

Children’s National Hospital

Carl Koschmann

University of Michigan

Craig Daniels

Ph.D., SickKids


External advisory board

An External Advisory Board (EAB) consisting of three renowned
researchers monitors the development of research in accordance
with ethical and scientific

Ian F. Pollack, MD

UPMC Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, USA

Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD

Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, USA

William A. Weiss, MD, PhD

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, USA


Just around the corner

In 2021, MBI made a commitment to finding new therapeutic approaches to medulloblastoma in the minorpossible time. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the tireless work of researchers, led by Dr. Roger J. Packer, we will soon begin the first clinical trials with patients. Check out the details in the August 2023 Report!