Catherine (Bracken) Ivy, founder and president of The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, has traveled the world learning all she can about brain cancer – specifically, how to cure it.
She is determined, through the efforts of her foundation, to find better treatment options and improve the quality of life for patients with brain tumors, especially those with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of malignant primary brain tumor. Ninety-eight percent of people diagnosed with GBM live fewer than 18 months.
Because brain cancer is rare compared to many other cancers, research into the disease receives little federal funding, pharmaceutical industry support or media attention. Today, standard of care currently involves removal of the tumor (though surgery most often fails to remove all the cancer) followed by radiation treatments and chemotherapy involving a drug with limited effect for the majority of patients. Sadly, little else remains to extend life expectancy or remission.