Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation – Rob Tufel 650.324.3000
Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative Aims to Spur Development of Non-InvasiveResponse Markers for Human Gliomas
Today, the eight North American private funding organizations comprising the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative announced a new funding initiative aimed at accelerating development of non- or minimally- invasive methods for monitoring if, when, and how human brain tumors are responding to investigational therapies. This represents the second round of funding offered by a unique collaborative funding effort representing private foundations and patient advocacy groups. The BTFC inaugurated its funding program in 2005, awarding grants to three multi-institutional, collaborative research projects. The BTFC’s primary goal is bridging the “translational gap” that can prevent promising laboratory findings from yielding new medical treatments. Information about BTFC is available at www.braintumorfunders.org
The eight members of the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative (BTFC) are: the American Brain Tumor Association, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society, and the Sontag Foundation. The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, established in 2007, joined the BTFC in 2008. The National Brain Tumor Society is a new organization resulting from the 2008 merger of the Brain Tumor Society and the National Brain Tumor Association.
“We welcome this opportunity to partner with other like-minded organizations,” said Rob Tufel, MSW, MPH, Executive Director of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation. “Just as collaboration among researchers can produce better outcomes, we believe participating in the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative is an effective way to improve diagnostics and treatments that can ultimately offer long-term survival and a high-quality of life for patients with brain tumors.”
Despite the dedicated and heroic efforts of researchers, clinicians, patients, and families, altering the devastating outcome for individuals diagnosed with aggressive brain tumors has remained elusive. For most patients the tumors will be lethal. Recently, however, research progress in genomics together with a better understanding of brain tumor heterogeneity and new approaches to clinical trials has fueled renewed hope among the brain cancer community.
Prior to announcing this new call for proposals the BTFC spent two years surveying the brain tumor research landscape seeking opportunities where private funding could accelerate progress. The BTFC investigations identified the need for response markers as critical to the ongoing development of interventions and to the design and execution of small scale, “smart” clinical trials designed to quickly access efficacy of treatments. Recently, there has been a groundswell of interest among the policy, research, and clinical communities to identify biomarkers for use in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers. The BTFC hopes its funding will help ensure that brain cancer patients are likely beneficiaries of new technological advances.
The BTFC will receive and review proposals during the summer and award the grants during the early fall of 2009. Details are available at www.braintumorfunders.org
American Brain Tumor Association – Elizabeth Wilson – 847.827.9910 x 20
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada – Susan Marshall – 519.642.7755 x 222
Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation – Joe Fay – 212.448.9494
Goldhirsh Foundation – Rita Berkson – 203.488.2697
Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation – Rob Tufel – 650.324.3000
James S. McDonnell Foundation – Susan Fitzpatrick – 314.721.1532 x 112
National Brain Tumor Society – Dave Hurwitz – 617.924.9997 x1510
Sontag Foundation – Kay Verble – 904.273-8755