Brain Tumor Archives - NFCR

Brain Tumor

4 Must-Know Facts About the Deadliest Brain Tumor

Glioblastoma multiforme- also known as GBM– is the most lethal form of brain cancer in adults. This devastating brain cancer spreads into other parts of the brain very quickly and is usually not surgically curable. Typically, radiation and chemotherapy are given with the hopes of delaying tumor progression. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with GBM, here are 4 important facts you need to know:

Brain Tumor Statistics

  • GBM kills 95% of patients within five years of diagnosis, with more than half dying within the first 15 months after diagnosis.
  • Although GBM can occur in any age group, it is most common in adults between the ages of 45-70.[i]
  • This year, more than 12,000 people living in the U.S. and tens of thousands more worldwide will receive a diagnosis of GBM. [ii]

1. Connect with a doctor(s) who specializes in GBM.

As with any rare or aggressive cancer, it’s best to seek care from a doctor who spends all of his or her time treating that particular disease. When it comes to GBM, there are many nuances to both its diagnosis and treatment that require expert knowledge.  Second opinions are also extremely important as they will either confirm what you’ve already been told or present different options to weigh.

2. Know the facts.

GBMs are extremely complex tumors.  Complete surgical removal of the entire tumor is extremely difficult because these tumors have finger-like tentacles that extend into surrounding normal brain tissue.  GBMs are also made up of a wide mix of different cell types that often differ from patient to patient.  Additionally, when GBMs recur or grow back—and they almost always do–the molecular profile of the tumor changes dramatically.  As a result, response to treatment varies considerably and today’s five-year survival for GBM is less than 5%.

3. With GBM AGILE, the future looks promising.

Currently there is no cure for GBM.  Although there have been hundreds of standard clinical trials for GBM, survival rates for patients with GBM have not improved in any meaningful way in more than 30 years… GBM AGILE brings tremendous hope to patients battling GBM today.

What is GBM AGILE?

Over 150 researchers from more than 40 leading cancer institutions across four continents have come together to find cures for GBM by launching the first-ever global, adaptive clinical trial that will revolutionize how brain cancer treatments are tested and developed. This new type of clinical trial platform is called GBM Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment, or GBM AGILE for short. By offering the ability to access to the newest, most promising treatments quickly and in real-time, GBM AGILE will provide people living with brain cancer new hope where little currently exists. While adaptive trials are not yet commonplace, Congress and the FDA are focused on accelerating their development to benefit patients, including GBM AGILE.

4. NFCR is attacking GBM head on.

With GBM AGILE, medical research is being transformed right now by the biggest global collaboration in the history of brain cancer research. NFCR has provided seed funding for this revolution and as part of the executive steering committee, is helping to develop and manage this groundbreaking adaptive trial protocol.

The GBM AGILE team is currently in discussion with the USA’s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to create a process that will make it faster for patients to access the promising drugs that are being tested in this clinical trial. This will be done by allowing seamless transition from Phase II to Phase III of the trial which does not traditionally happen in the current clinical trial format. The protocol is nearly complete, and patient enrollment is expected to begin in January, 2018 giving patients worldwide the best chance to treat their disease.

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NFCR’s Dr. Web Cavenee Honored at Prestigious Gray Gala

On Friday, November 11, 2016, the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) held its annual Gray Gala to recognize and celebrate the achievements of change-makers across the brain tumor community.  Pioneers in brain tumor research were honored, including Dr. Web Cavenee, Chairman of NFCR’s Scientific Advisory Board and former NFCR-funded research fellow.  Dr. Cavenee was awarded the 2016 Feldman Founder’s Award for Adult Brain Tumor Research.

David Arons, CEO NBTS; Dr. Web Cavanee, Ludwig Cancer Research and Chairman of NFCR Scientific Advisory Board; G. Bonnie Feldman, Founder of NBTS; Dr. David Louis, Pathology Chair Mass General Hospital)
Pictured above from left to right: David Arons, CEO NBTS; Dr. Web Cavanee, Ludwig Cancer Research and Chairman of NFCR Scientific Advisory Board; G. Bonnie Feldman, Founder of NBTS; Dr. David Louis, Pathology Chair Mass General Hospital)

“It was an honor to witness the celebration of the scientists, advocates and volunteers all joined together to support the brain tumor community,” said Dr. Sujuan Ba, President and COO of NFCR.

Dr. Sujuan Ba spoke to fellow leaders at the Gray Gala about this collaboration and stressed, “NFCR is proud to partner with the National Brain Tumor Society to fight GBM, one of the most deadly cancers.” Dr. Sujuan Ba is particularly enthusiastic about an innovative undertaking both the NFCR and NBTS are supporting: GBM AGILE.  Led by the best and brightest cancer researchers, GBM AGILE is a revolutionary global collaborative program to test and develop new brain cancer treatments. Its adaptive and personalized approach will cut several years of the clinical testing and reveal potentially lifesaving treatments far faster than has ever been possible. Additionally, the learning from GBM can be used for other cancers using similar approaches to save more lives.

Pictured: G. Bonnie Feldman, Founder of NBTS (left) and Dr. Sujuan Ba
Pictured: G. Bonnie Feldman, Founder of NBTS (left) and Dr. Sujuan Ba
Pictured: David Arons, CEO of NBTS (left) and Dr. Sujuan Ba
Pictured: David Arons, CEO of NBTS (left) and Dr. Sujuan Ba
Dr. Sujuan Ba with Key leaders of GBM AGILE pictured from left to right:
Dr. Alfred Yung (MD Anderson Cancer Center and NFCR Fellow);
Dr. Brian Alexander (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute);
Dr. Web Cavanee (Ludwig Cancer Research and Chairman of NFCR Scientific Advisory Board)
Dr. Sujuan Ba with Key leaders of GBM AGILE pictured from left to right: Dr. Alfred Yung (MD Anderson Cancer Center and NFCR Fellow); Dr. Brian Alexander (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute); Dr. Web Cavanee (Ludwig Cancer Research and Chairman of NFCR Scientific Advisory Board)
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