4 Your Community: National Brain Tumor Society


ROUGHLY 7,000 AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH A BRAIN TUMOR. ANOTHER 9,000 WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH ONE AT SOME POINT THIS YEAR. WHAT IS BEING DONE IN TERMS OF TREATMENT AND ULTIMATELY A CURE? JOINING US IS DAVID AHRENS, CEO OF THE BRAIN TUMOR SOCIETY. GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF SOMEONE THAT HAS TO HEAR THOSE WORDS, YOU HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR. THE SHOCK AND AWE OF WHEN YOU HEAR THAT DIAGNOSIS IS REALLY PROFOUND. SO, NATIONAL BRAIN TUMOR SOCIETY IS TRYING TO HELP ALL FAMILIES AND RESEARCHERS ACROSS THE U.S. AND THE GLOBE TO FIND A CURE AND GET BETTER TREATMENTS ALONG THE WAY. A TALL TASK, TOO, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE 130 PLUS DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRAIN TUMORS INVOLVED. IT CAN BE EVERYTHING FROM A BENIGN BRAIN TUMOR WHERE THEY MAY TAKE IT OUT WITH A SURGERY AND YOU ARE FINE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE UP TO GLIOBLASTOMA, THE CANCER THAT TOOK JOHN McCAIN, BEE BIDEN AND TED KENNEDY. THAT IS THE — MOST AGGRESSIVE. HOW ARE YOU TRYING TO FIND A CURE? FUND GREAT MEDICAL RESEARCH. WE HAVE INCREDIBLE LABS AT DANA FARBER, MASS GENERAL. OTHER HOSPITALS AROUND THE COUNTRY. WE FUND MEDICAL RESEARCH GRANTS TO HELP THEM FIND NEW THERAPIES AND ULTIMATELY A CURE. WE HELP PATIENTS AND FAMILIES ALONG THE WAY GET INVOLVED IN CLINICAL TRIALS THAT LEAD TO NEW MEDICINES. WE HELP PATIENTS AND FAMILIES SPEAK UP ABOUT THEIR NEEDS AND THE KIND OF POLICIES THAT THEY WANT BY HELPING THEM GO TO WASHINGTON, STATE CAPITALS AND BECOME ADVOCATES FOR EACH OTHER AND THE COMMUNITY. YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVERIES. CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH THOSE? ABSOLUTELY. ONE DISCOVERED IN BOSTON BY DAVID LEWIS AT MASS GENERAL DISCOVERED A CHROMOSOME DELETION THAT REDEFINED A BRAIN TUMOR TYPE AND HELPED US FIND NEW THERAPIES FOR THAT TYPE. THERE ARE OTHER DISCOVERIES OF HOW THE BRAIN TUMORS WORK AND GROW. WE FUNDED ANOTHER RESEARCH PROJECT THAT DISCOVERED THAT BRAIN TUMORS EAT CHOLESTEROL INSIDE THE BRAIN. SO, IF WE CAN TRICK THE GLIOBLASTOMA LIKE A RAT AND GIVE IT A FAKE PIECE OF CHEESE IN THE FORM OF A DRUG WE CAN GET THE BRAIN TUMOR TO STARVE ITSELF. THAT IS A NEW STRATEGY WE ARE PURSUING. CLEARLY A COLLECTIVE EFFORT IS CALLED FOR TO TACKLE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. WE APPRECIATE YOU SPREADING

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