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Valerie I. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Valerie I. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Clinical Experimental Therapeutics Program

Contact

Valerie I. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Clinical Experimental Therapeutics Program

Penn State College of Medicine

500 University Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

Phone: (717) 531-3012

Email: vbrown1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

EDUCATION/BIO

  • Fellowship, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Boston) (2002) 
  • Residency, Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (1999) 
  • M.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1996) 
  • Ph.D., Immunology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1992)

 

“I just didn’t believe that this support existed. It was a dream come true, but even more."

 

MILESTONES

Awards Received
  • 2016 Top Educator in Pediatrics
  • 2016 Child's HCAHPS Inpatient Peak Performer
  • 2017 Appointed to American Board of Pediatrics Sub Board in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

CURRENT RESEARCH

Under Dr. Brown’s leadership, the early phase clinical research enterprise was expanded and re-organized and the Experimental Therapeutics Research and Clinical Team (ExTRaCT) was established. The mission of this Experimental Therapeutics Program is to provide novel, biologically relevant treatment regimens that incorporate cutting-edge science to pediatric and AYA patients with cancer with the goal of becoming a leader of Phase I/II Clinical Trials site.

The makeup of ExTRaCT includes 6 physicians, 1 nurse practitioner, 1 clinical specialist pharmacist, 1 clinical research nurse and 1 regulatory/compliance specialist all within the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. The objectives of ExTRaCT is to identify and expedite screening of potential patients for participation in early phase clinical trials, consult and consent potential early phase study patients and their families, participate in a “shared-care” model with the patients’ primary oncologists, and to ensure thorough documentation.

In addition, ExTRaCT members help identify and implement innovative early phase clinical studies, develop SOP’s and policies for the Experimental Therapeutics Program, develop strategies to increase visibility of ExTRaCT to the entire Penn State Health community as well as regionally and nationally, educate and act as role models for fellows and peers and identify opportunities for scholarly work.

Also under Dr. Brown’s direction, in 2014, Penn State Hershey became a member of the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC). The NMTRC is a network of more than 20 universities, children’s hospitals, and institutions that offers a number of early phase clinical trials including one clinical trial using a very novel, individualized approach of determining the treatment plan based upon the unique biologic properties of the tumor itself. For a number of different cancer types, relapsed or refractory disease is typically incurable with today’s therapies.

In this study led by the NMTRC, biopsies of the patient’s tumor(s) are obtained and then sent to TGen for sophisticated, cutting-edge genomic analysis of the individual tumor. Based on the molecular aberrations within the tumor, a report that predicts potential response of the individual tumor to over 200 drugs and naturally occurring compounds is generated. Then, a panel of NMTRC members, consisting of pediatric oncologists, pharmacists, pathologists and scientists, holds a “virtual tumor board” during which time the patient’s clinical course is reviewed, the results of the report discussed and a molecularly guided treatment plan (that is based upon the specific tumor analysis) is devised. Then, the patient begins his/her personalized, molecularly guided therapy.

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

The following are publications of Dr. Brown:

Dinardo L, Brown, V, Perez E, Brunin N, Sullivan K:  A Single Center Study of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Primary Immune Deficiencies (PIDD).  Pediatric Transplantation, 16(1):63-72, 2012.

Barrett D, Brown VI, Grupp SA, Teachey DT: Targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR Signaling Axis in Children with Hematologic Malignancies. Pediatric Drugs, 14(5):299-316, 2012. (PMID: 22845486)

Frangoul H, Min E, Wang W, Chandrasekhar R, Calder C, Evans M, Manes B, Bruce K, Brown V, Ho R, Domm J:  Incidence and risk factors for hypogammaglobulinemia in pediatric patients following allo-SCT. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 48(11):1456-9, 2013.  (PMID:23708706)

Maheshwari S, Kassim A, Yef RF, Domm J, Calder C, Evans M, Manes B, Bruce K, Brown V, Ho R, Frangoul H, Yang E: Targeted Busulfan therapy with a steady-state concentration of 600- 700 ng/mL in patients with sickle cell disease receiving HLA-identical sibling bone marrow transplant. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 49(3):366-9, Mar 2014. (PMID: 24317124)

Brown V.I.: Entry on "Graft versus Host Disease". In: The 5 Minute Pediatric Consult, 7th Edition. Michael D. Cabana, et al (eds.).  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, in press.

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