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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Eric Bouffet, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Director, Brain Tumour Program


Research Institute
Senior Associate Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

University of Toronto

Chair Positions

Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research

Phone: 416-813-7457
Fax: 416-813-8024
Email: eric.bouffet@sickkids.ca
Alternate Contact: Zainab Khan
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 224678
Alternate Email: zainab.khan@sickkids.ca

Brief Biography

Dr. Bouffet is a Professor of Paediatrics in the University of Toronto, Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research and Head of the Neuro-oncology Section in the Division of Haematology/Oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto. He graduated in 1980 from the medical school at the University of Lyon. Following graduation he trained and practiced in Lyon;  he was Head of the Department of Neuro-oncology, Centre Leon Berard, during the period 1992-1995. He then moved to the United Kingdom where he was Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Bristol (1996-1998) and the Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton UK (1998-2000). In 2000 he was recruited to SickKids in Toronto to develop and head a multidisciplinary paediatric neuro-oncology program within the Division of Haematology/Oncology. In 1998-200, Bouffet was co-Chairman of the Brain Tumour Committee of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) and is currently Chair of the Canadian Paediatric Brain Tumour Consortium. He is a member of the steering committee of the brain tumour committee of the Children’s Oncology Group, and chair of the Infant Brain Tumours Committee. 

Bouffet is a Senior Associate Scientist in the Research Institute at SickKids. My research interests are in the area of novel treatments and clinical trials in children with brain tumours. He is author or co-author of over 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts and author/co-author on numerous book chapters in the field of neuro-oncology. He was the recipient of several awards, including the Alvin Zipursky Teaching Award, the Claus Wirsig Humanitarian Award, and the Richard Rowe Award for Clinical Excellence in Paediatric Medical Care. In 2011, he became the inaugural recipient of the Garron Family Chair in Childhood Cancer Research and is currently the President of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP).

Research Interests

Treatment of Paediatric Low Grade Glioma’s

Over the past 16 years, Bouffet has run several clinical trials which have investigated new therapies for low grade gliomas in children, specifically new therapies which improve quality of life in children. The most significant studies he has run pertain to the use of Vinblastine monotherapy in paediatric low grade glioma, the most recent of which is a multicenter, pan-Canadian study which is the first low grade glioma study to incorporate biology into a clinical trial (Lassaletta et al, JCO 2016; Bouffet et al, JCO 2012). He is also the PI of a multinational study of Vinblastine and Bevacizumab which recently opened.  The Vinblastine backbone he has developed is now the backbone for the upcoming Children’s Oncology Group studies on Low Grade Glioma.  

1. Lassaletta A, Scheinemann K, Zelcer SM, et al: Phase II Weekly Vinblastine for Chemotherapy-Naive Children with Progressive Low-Grade Glioma: A Canadian Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Study. J Clin Oncol, 2016 *senior author

2. Bouffet E, Jakacki R, Goldman S, et al: Phase II study of weekly vinblastine in recurrent or refractory pediatric low-grade glioma. J Clin Oncol 30:1358-63, 2012

3. Jakacki RI, Bouffet E, Adamson PC, et al: A phase 1 study of vinblastine in combination with carboplatin for children with low-grade gliomas: a Children's Oncology Group phase 1 consortium study. Neuro Oncol 13:910-5, 2011

4. Cappellano AM, Petrilli AS, da Silva NS, et al: Single agent vinorelbine in pediatric patients with progressive optic pathway glioma. J Neurooncol 121:405-12, 2015 *senior author

Genomic Characterization of Low Grade Glioma’s of Childhood

Wokring with Dr. Uri Tabori, Bouffet is developing a molecular classification of paediatric low grade glioma’s specifically the role of BRAF V600E in the risk stratification of paediatric low grade glioma as part of the worldwide low grade glioma taskforce.  Furthermore, they have shown previously that the risk of malignant transformation of paediatric low grade gliomas is dependent on BRAF V600E mutational status, and CDKN2A deletion. They have also shown that the risk of death in paediatric low grade glioma is significantly higher in BRAF V600E mutant tumours, and as such are currently investigating co-operating events with BRAFV600E which contribute to this rapid progression.

1. Krishnatry R, Zhukova N, Guerreiro Stucklin AS, et al: Clinical and treatment factors determining long-term outcomes for adult survivors of childhood low-grade glioma: A population-based study. Cancer 122:1261-9, 2016

2. Mistry M, Zhukova N, Merico D, et al: BRAF mutation and CDKN2A deletion define a clinically distinct subgroup of childhood secondary high-grade glioma. J Clin Oncol 33:1015-22, 2015

3. Ryall S, Krishnatry R, Arnoldo A, et al: Targeted detection of genetic alterations reveal the prognostic impact of H3K27M and MAPK pathway aberrations in paediatric thalamic glioma. Acta Neuropathol Commun 4:93, 2016

Translational Genomics of Medulloblastoma

Over the past 5 years Bouffet has worked to characterize the clinical correlates of medulloblastoma subgroups. He has reported several seminal findings, including the first report of subgroup specific patterns of recurrence in medulloblastoma, the first evaluation of medulloblastoma subgroups in irradiated children, the subgroup specificity of the extent of resection and the genomic characterization of medulloblastoma at relapse. He has worked closely with both of them to provide clinical correlation to their genomic findings, and currently is working with them on elucidating the heterogeinety within each subgroup which has been recently submitted to Cancer Cell.  Moreover, he is the co-study chair of the current COG infant trial ACNS1221 and will be incorporating biology into the interpretation of this study.

1. Ramaswamy V, Hielscher T, Mack SC, et al: Therapeutic Impact of Cytoreductive Surgery and Irradiation of Posterior Fossa Ependymoma in the Molecular Era: A Retrospective Multicohort Analysis. J Clin Oncol 34:2468-77, 2016

2. Thompson EM, Hielscher T, Bouffet E, et al: Prognostic value of medulloblastoma extent of resection after accounting for molecular subgroup: a retrospective integrated clinical and molecular analysis. Lancet Oncol 17:484-95, 2016

3. Ramaswamy V, Remke M, Adamski J, et al: Medulloblastoma subgroup-specific outcomes in irradiated children: who are the true high-risk patients? Neuro Oncol 18:291-7, 2016 *senior author

4. Ramaswamy V, Remke M, Bouffet E, et al: Recurrence patterns across medulloblastoma subgroups: an integrated clinical and molecular analysis. Lancet Oncol 14:1200-7, 2013

Clinical and Genomic Characterization of Malignant Paediatric Brain Tumours

Bouffet has been the lead clinician at The Hospital for Sick Children in characterizing malignant pediatric brain tumours in the molecular era. As one of the founders of the Biallelic mismatch repair consortium with Dr. Uri Tabori, Bouffet has recently reported molecular determinants of treatment response in hypermutant glioblastoma, specifically the first report of a treatment response to immunotherapy. He is currently opening an international study of immunotherapy for hypermutant cancers of childhood with a strong biological correlate. He is also a clinical lead in the ascertainment of molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour and posterior fossa ependymoma, where we have shown that current clinical risk stratification can be significantly improved by incorporation of molecular subgroups. Currently in collaboration with Dr. Vijay Ramaswamy, Bouffet is investigating the role of surgery and radiation in the context of molecular subgroup for supratentorial ependymoma.

1. Torchia J, Picard D, Lafay-Cousin L, et al: Molecular subgroups of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours in children: an integrated genomic and clinicopathological analysis. Lancet Oncol 16:569-82, 2015 *co-senior author

2. Bouffet E, Larouche V, Campbell BB, et al: Immune Checkpoint Inhibition for Hypermutant Glioblastoma Multiforme Resulting From Germline Biallelic Mismatch Repair Deficiency. J Clin Oncol 34:2206-11, 2016

3. Ramaswamy V, Hielscher T, Mack SC… Bouffet E, et al: Therapeutic Impact of Cytoreductive Surgery and Irradiation of Posterior Fossa Ependymoma in the Molecular Era: A Retrospective Multicohort Analysis. J Clin Oncol 34:2468-77, 2016

4. Picard D, Miller S, Hawkins CE, Bouffet E et al: Markers of survival and metastatic potential in childhood CNS primitive neuro-ectodermal brain tumours: an integrative genomic analysis. Lancet Oncol 13:838-48, 2012

Research Support

SU2C Brain Tumour Stem Cell Proposal. Peter Dirks (PI), Samuel Weiss (co-PI), Michael Taylor; Cheryl Arrowsmith; Marco Marra; Mathieu Lupien; Mike Tyers; Nada Jabado; Trevor Pugh; Amy Caudy; Gary Bader; Warren Mason; Eric Bouffet (PI, clinical trial); ($11,800,000, 2015-2019) (SU2C Canada)

Clinical relevance of supratentorial ependymoma subgroups. Bouffet E, Hawkins C, Ramaswamy V. Brainchild ($24,824, 2015-2016).

Examining the Relationship between White Matter Integrity and the Speed of Neuronal Processing in Children with Brain Tumours. Mabbott, D.J., Bouffet, E., Dockstader, C., Doesburg, S., Gaetz, W., Laughlin, S., Tabori, U. Canadian Institute for Health Research. ($640,915.00, October 2012 – September 30, 2017).

Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PEOLC) Initiative. Widger K, Rapoport A, Bouffet E, Friedrichsdorf S, Greenberg M, Husain A, Liben S, Pole J, Siden H, Whitlock J, Wolfe J. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC). ($ 959,264, 2013-2017)

Biomarkers for Pediatric Glioblastoma through Genomics and Epigenomics. Jabado N, Majewski J, Pastinen T, Rak J, Kislinger T, Bouffet E, Bourque G, Fernandez C, Lachaine J, Bartlett-Esquilant G, Montpetit A, Zadeh G, Huang A. Genome Canada Grant in Personalized Health. ($5,074,844, 2013-2017)

The Role of Histones in the Development of Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI) ($1,250,000, 2014 – 2019)

A Phase II, Open-Labeled, Multi-Center, Randomized Controlled Trial of Vinblastine +/- Bevacizumab for the Treatment Of Chemotherapy-Naïve Children With Unresectable Or Progressive Low Grade Glioma. Bouffet E, Hwang E, Hargrave D, Kilday JP. Investigator initiated study supported by a grant from Genentech ($3,500,000, 2015-2019)

A Pilot Study of Nivolumab in Paediatric Patients with Hypermutant Cancers. Bouffet E, Tabori U, Fried I, Grill J, Sullivan M. Investigator initiated study supported by a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($2,800,000, 2016-2019)   


View full list of publications on PubMed.