Glioblastomas (GBM) are tumors that arise from astrocytes—the star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like,” or supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are usually highly malignant (cancerous) because the cells reproduce quickly and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels.
UCSD: Fluorescence Microscope Filter (2016)
It is Dr. Bob Carter’s belief that fluorescence imaging could dramatically improve surgical outcomes in patients with malignant and intrinsic brain tumors. Based on early proof of concept research, Dr. Carter believes tumors will fluoresce more brightly in the most aggressive part(s) of the tumor. If this is proven true over the coming year, then surgeons can assess the area of the tumor with the most activity and target that area in surgery with special care. This could potentially reduce, or even eliminate, the cancer spreading throughout the brain. READ MORE
Dr. Timothy Cloughsey, Director, UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program.
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• GBM is the most dangerous and aggressive form of brain cancer.
• GBM is classified as a grade IV astrocytoma.
• GBM patients typically have short-term life expectancies; few will live to see three years after diagnosis. • GBM cells grow rapidly, with large number of cells reproducing at any given time. As a tumor grows, it leads to pressure on the brain, causing symptoms such as headaches, nausea and vomiting, and drowsiness.
• GBM is challenging to treat because the cells within the tumor are very resistant to treatments. Doctors may try a variety of treatments to slow the growth of the tumor.
• For newly diagnosed GBM patients, the median progression free survival is 6.9 months, and median overall survival is 14.6 months.
• Approximately 50% of all primary brain tumors originate from specialized nerve cells in the brain called glial cells, and brain tumors that arise from glial cells are called gliomas.
Uncle Kory Foundation (UKF) is committed to supporting innovative and collaborative Glioblastoma (GBM) research and has partnered with leaders in the field such as UCLA, Duke, MD Anderson and UCSD. We are fortunate to have both Dr. Timothy Cloughsey, Director of the UCLA Neuro Oncology Program and Dr. Darrel Bigner, Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, as research advisors for the Uncle Kory Foundation.
The Funding Reports provide more detail on the programs UKF has chosen to fund.
Happy holidays from Heath and Mandy Gregory! READ MORE
Duke Medicine: A Guided Immunotoxin Missile for Treatment of Malignant Brain Tumors (2016)
The collaboration between Dr. Ira Pastan at the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Bigner’s team at Duke, has helped develop an immunotoxin missile that identifies two of the most important “driver-oncogene” molecules present in 95% of glioblastomas, EGFRwt and EGFRvIII. This is the only guided immunotoxin treatment that targets both of these molecules. Previous treatments have only been able to attack cells with one of these two gene products. READ MORE
Dr. Darrell Bigner, Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke
2015 YEAR END LETTER