Ivy Foundation Awards $3 Million for Brain Cancer Research

The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation in Palo Alto, California, has announced a $3 million grant to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to improve personalized medicine for brain cancer patients.

The grant was awarded as part of the first phase of the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project, which aims to better understand how genetic differences in individual brain tumors can help determine the most effective treatment option for each patient. TGen will coordinate and manage the project, which will run four to five years, and will provide expertise in genomics-based research.

Expected to last eighteen months, phase one of the project will involve the creation of a consortium of nine U.S. academic laboratories, including the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Henry Ford Hospital, and the Van Andel Research Institute. Phase two will focus on a clinical trial for brain cancer patients.

"Currently, all patients get basically the same treatment without taking into account the genetic profile of their tumor," said Catherine Ivy, who established the foundation after her husband died as a result of brain cancer. "The end goal of this research initiative is to identify how tumors with different genetic features respond to a set of treatment regimens and ultimately, it is hoped, provide physicians with the tools they need to offer brain tumor patients the most effective treatment options based on the specific genetic profile of their tumor."

"Ivy Foundation Funds New Brain Cancer Research Consortium." Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation Press Release 07/08/2008.