Driving Research to New Brain Cancer Therapies

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) research is on the cusp of genetic and molecular discoveries that will forever alter current diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic achievements. A highly aggressive and complex brain tumor type, GBM tumors are also one of the most devastating forms of cancer, effecting thousands of Americans each day. As such, we believe it is our duty to drive the advancement of this research area to understand how to combat its resistance and adaptability, and deliver new and effective therapies to improve patient survival.

With this in mind, the National Brain Tumor Society recently launched the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, a multi-faceted and concentrated effort, which aims to double the five-year survival rate of GBM patients – in just five years.

To achieve this goal, the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative will connect leading brain tumor researchers from top cancer institutions across the globe to create a tightly-focused and outcomes-driven effort. Through research collaboration, multiple synergistic projects will be combined and driven by investigator teams with proven track records of results to accelerate the pace of discovery and improve patient survival. By design, the individual projects within the Defeat GBM initiative will provide better and strategic data sharing opportunities to inform the overall effort, and advance potential therapies down the drug discovery pipeline more quickly.

A team of senior brain cancer experts acting as the Strategic Scientific Advisory Council (SSAC) will oversee the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative to ensure goal attainment and overall success. In addition, the Advisors will play a key role in attracting and evaluating additional GBM research projects taking place throughout the United States, as well as around the world. Additional projects will be evaluated on their scientific potential, as well as their ability to support the patient-centric and outcome-driven goals of Defeat GBM.  With this lens, the Advisors will help to ensure that only the most promising science is funded.

This esteemed group of research leaders will partner with Defeat GBM’s Managing Director, Carrie Treadwell (National Brain Tumor Society, Director of Research) and its Scientific Director, Dr. W.K. Alfred Yung, Margaret and Ben Love Chair of Clinical Cancer Care, and Professor of Neuro-Oncology and Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to direct the overall research initiative. The remaining members of the SSAC include:

  • Dr. Webster Cavenee - Director, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego and Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego 
  • Dr. Anna Barker - Director of Transformative Healthcare Networks, and Co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative at Arizona State University
  • Dr. Richard Gaynor – Director of Clinical Development & Medical Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company
  • Dr. Mitchel S. Berger – Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery, Director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program and Director of the Neurosurgical Research Centers at the Brain Tumor Research Center at University of California, San Francisco
  • Dr. Darrell D. Bigner – Director of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University
  • Dr. George D. Demetri – Director of the Ludwig Center at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. William C. Hahn – Senior Associate Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School

Participating researchers and investigator teams for key projects within Defeat GBM will initially stem from institutions such as: MD Anderson and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

Additional and unique aspects of this program are the simultaneous research efforts in basic discovery science, translational science, pre-clinical drug development, and clinical trial design, all intended to quicken the pace of discovery, transfer knowledge to drug development, identify the right biological targets, and improve clinical trials.

To learn more or make a contribution toward the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, please contact Kevin Courtney, Chief Development Officer.