Current Research Studies

Cancer – BrainChild-01: CAR T-Cell Therapy for Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors Clinical Trial

Condition or Therapy:

Relapsed or refractory brain and central nervous system tumors 


Cancer and Blood Disorders

What is the goal of this study?

Seattle Children’s is currently enrolling patients in a phase 1 clinical trial that is testing CAR T-cell therapy in children and young adults with relapsed or refractory brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors who are not likely to survive with standard treatments. This trial is called BrainChild-01. 

Through this trial, researchers are working to answer these questions:

  • Is T-cell therapy safe to give children and young adults with recurrent or refractory HER2-positive CNS tumors?
  • What is the best dose of therapy for children and young adults with CNS tumors? 
  • Does T-cell therapy work against brain and CNS tumors?

Learn how CAR T-cell therapy works.  

Who can join the study?

The study might be a good fit for children and young adults who: 

  • Are 1 to 26 years old
  • Have relapsed or refractory brain or CNS tumors that test positive for a protein called HER2. This study is not open to children with DIPG or other childhood cancers.

Researchers use many other factors to decide whether a patient can take part in a study (inclusion criteria) or cannot take part (exclusion criteria). The study team at Seattle Children’s can explain what these factors mean for you or your child.

What will happen if my child takes part in this study?

In this trial, the patient’s own CAR T cells are reprogrammed to recognize and target the protein HER2, which is expressed by many pediatric brain tumors but not healthy brain tissue.

The reprogrammed cells will be put back into the patient’s body (infused) through a catheter, either into the place where the tumor has been removed or into the CNS ventricular system (intra-CNS). Placement will depend on the location of the tumor.

You can read about the BrainChild-01 study protocol on

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information, please call 206-987-2106 or send us an email.

Study Location(s):

Seattle Children's Hospital campus 

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Nicholas Vitanza
Research Center: Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research