The Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative has announced grants totaling $1.1 million to support eleven teams of researchers and clinicians working to develop tools needed to translate scientific discoveries into effective new treatments for brain cancer.
Teams at the Children's Hospital Boston, Atlanta-based Emory University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, New York City-based Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Washington, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center will each receive a one-year, $100,000 grant to accelerate testing of different kinds of brain tumor response markers, which are easily monitored biological signals that reveal how a tumor is responding to patient therapies.
Prior to announcing the awards, BTFC members — the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the American Brain Tumor Association, the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society, and the Sontag Foundation — spent eighteen months meeting with experts and exploring a variety of translational research opportunities. "Our analysis of the brain tumor research landscape identified the need for reliable brain tumor response markers as a priority," said Rob Tufel of the Ivy Foundation.
According to the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, approximately 22,000 people annually are diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumor, while another 38,000 have non-malignant tumors. Because brain tumors affect neural and cognitive functions, both the disease and its treatment have a high incidence of disability.
"Each project focuses on a unique approach to solving a vexing problem encountered by clinicians and researchers dedicated to improving patient outcomes from one of the...deadliest types of cancer," said Susan Fitzpatrick of the McDonnell Foundation. "We believe the unusual case of eight private funders working together in a spirit of cooperation and openness sends a powerful message. It is time for some new ways of attacking this devastating disease."
For a complete list of the funded projects, visit the BTFC Web site.