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Brain cancer research delivers hope for the cure.

My sister is one of the patients who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is now one of the estimated 700,000 people in the US who are living with a brain tumor.  Despite the prevalence of brain tumors and their devastating prognosis, in the past 30 years there have only been four drugs approved by the FDA to treat brain cancer.  These have provided very little improvement to patient survival and the prognosis remains poor.  There is an immediate need for therapies that could improve survival time and quality of life for patients currently living with brain tumors.

Here’s how it works:

When a foreign intruder is detected, the body’s alarm goes off, and the immune system sends in an army of antibodies which are put into action to specifically find, target and destroy the invaders and abnormal cells.  Antibody therapies have already been proven effective against a whole range of cancers, yet there are many more still in need of being developed.  Although scientists have made significant advances in discovering these tumor targets, especially in certain types of cancer, we have not even begun to scratch the surface of identifying targets on brain tumors.  With their ability to be targeted toward specific diseases, monoclonal antibodies are turning out to be a game changer as one of our most effective weapons in the fight against cancer.

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The research illustrated here is currently underway at the Mayo Clinic. Expert researchers are ready to launch a preclinical trial to test the efficacy of existing antibody therapies for eliminating brain tumors, and also the profiling of additional brain tumors (step 2) to identify protein targets (step 3) on tumors to engineer antibodies (step 4) for new brain cancer therapies (step 5). Unlocking the possibility to target cancer cells using antibody therapies tagging them for destruction while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed, will provide hope for those facing the challenge of beating brain cancer who are out of options with conventional therapies and are running out of time to find a lifesaving solution.


Several potential targets for antibody therapies have already been identified for brain tumors in a clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic made possible by funding from Dream for the Cure Cancer Research Foundation.  Brain cancer research has already provided key information needed for guiding the best possible treatment options to be developed for each patient on an individual basis.  This provides promise for the treatment of entire groups of patients with a highly individualized and more affordable approach, while retaining the same efficacy as one-on-one individualized treatment strategies. Donations of every size are always welcome and appreciated to fund this groundbreaking research to discover the cure.

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