Transforming Tomorrow, Today
Published by the National Brain Tumor Society, this monthly newsletter includes updates on our integrated research, advocacy, and public policy programs, as well as upcoming events across the nation and in your community.

April 2013

National Brain Tumor Society Applauds its Collaborative Partners and Research Peers

We are pleased to share these research updates and announcements to further illustrate our progress and commitment to the brain tumor community, as well as the collective work of our partners and peers to help get us closer to a cure.

Rally for Medical ResearchNational Brain Tumor Society staff and volunteers joined thousands of fellow advocates urging Congress to support funding research at AACR's Rally for Medical Research in Washington, DC on April 8

Two years after the National Brain Tumor Society presented an Innovation Research Grant to Tocagen Inc., their research team reported good progress with their innovative therapeutic app-9roach to the treatment of brain cancer, referred to as "Toca 511 & Toca FC". To date, there are forty-four patients enrolled in their Phase 1 clinical trials. The therapy is well tolerated by patients and the clinical investigators have observed some early evidence of drug activity. Learn more about Tocagen’s Phase I clinical trials here.

During the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, Dr. Markus D. Siegelin, M.D. of Columbia University Medical Center was announced as the 2013 recipient of the AACR-National Brain Tumor Society Career Development Award for Translational Brain Tumor Research. In accepting this award, Dr. Siegelin will receive $150,000 from the two organizations ($75,000/year for two years) to further study new, powerful anti-tumor treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients.

One of National Brain Tumor Society’s funded research teams has identified a promising therapeutic target for some glioma brain tumors. In a recent Science article, Ingo K. Mellinghoff, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York) describes the latest findings related to the role of IDH1 protein in tumor cells, as well as its response to a novel compound AGI-5198 (in development at research partner Agios Pharmaceuticals). The team is looking to confirm its promise as an inhibitor of mutant IDH1 protein, which if successful, could block the growth of certain brain tumors. Dr. Mellinghoff and his team are part of the Mary Catherine Calisto Systems Biology Initiative, and developed the compound using systems biology methods to integrate genome-wide RNA expression measurements and DNA activity with measurements of the metabolic activity of the mutant gene.

The Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, which aims to double the survival rate of GBM patients in a mere five years, was just unveiled in March. Promising to deliver real progress for all brain cancer patients, National Brain Tumor Society hopes the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative will become a successful and reproducible model to tackle the complexities of other brain tumor types, and advance the overall field of cancer research.

Community Events Update

Race for Hope
Des Moines, IA 5/11
Enter this 5K run/walk with the option to be timed. There will also be a celebration of survivors for the finale, and a memorial for those who have inspired us. Register now.

Team Billy Ride and Walk for Research
Saratoga Springs, NY 5/19
Participate in this event with a choice of 50-, 25-, or 10-mile bike routes throughout Saratoga County or a 3-mile walk. Join us.

Mary Kline Classic
Philadelphia, PA 6/2
Come watch this all-star high school basketball event, at Philadelphia University, in honor of the late Mary Kline. The event features an underclassmen game, senior game, shooting skills competition, three-point shootout, and slam-dunk contest. Buy your tickets.

Find an upcoming event or email to start your own community event. Get involved today!

Lastly, on behalf of the entire National Brain Tumor Society staff, we'd like to extend our sincere gratitude for the tremendous support we've received following the tragedies that unfolded here in Boston and nearby Watertown last week.

As we continue to manage the impact of last week's events, we have strengthened our security and emergency management protocols for all of our Brain Tumor Walks, Rides, and Races so they can continue to be beacons of community pride and hope.

On a more personal level, we were heartbroken to learn that one of our staff members lost a loved one during this terrible course of events. We're doing everything in our power to support our colleague and her family during this difficult time.

To the many members of the brain tumor community who offered their thoughts and prayers to the organization, as well as our colleague - we are forever thankful. It was a very difficult week, and your kind words of support provided strength to us all.

A special thank you to our Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk Title Sponsor

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Upcoming 2013 Events

Wilmington, DE - 4/27
Delaware Brain Tumor Walk

San Francisco, CA - 5/4
Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk

Washington, DC - 5/5
Race for Hope - DC

Waltham, MA - 5/19
Boston Brain Tumor Ride

Denver, CO - 6/1
Denver Brain Tumor Walk

New York, NY - 6/15
New York Brain Tumor Walk

See all events

Advocate of the Month

Karen Armentani

Karen Armentani
Learn more about Karen, our New Jersey State Lead Advocate, and our latest updates.

In the Brain Tumor Community

John Hopkins University Press’ Journal is looking for stories from parents of children with brain tumors. Stories are due April 30, please contact

American Society of Cell & Gene Therapy (ASCGT) Annual Meeting
May 15 18 Salt Lake City, UT Learn more

Don't forget: May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Visit in May to learn more.

Recent Articles

Early Results of Activartis AV0113 Cancer Immunotherapy in Glioblastoma Trial Reveal Promising Trend

Gene Sequencing Project Finds New Mutations to Blame for a Majority of Brain Tumor Subtype

RNA-Binding Protein PCBP2 Modulates Glioma Growth by Regulating FHL3

More research news

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National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and anyone who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels.

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