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TGen leads new National Institutes of Health study of brain tumors
Date:5/3/2012

PHOENIX, Ariz. May 3, 2012 The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) will lead a multidisciplinary search for new drugs that could help treat the most common and lethal form of brain cancer.

A $4.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund the search to find new ways of treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common type of primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors are among the top 10 causes of cancer death in the U.S., and more than 80,000 Americans have primary malignant brain tumors.

Collaborating with TGen on this 5-year study are the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham); Van Andel Research Institute (VARI); the Intellectual Property & Science division of Thomson Reuters; and the NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI).

"The exceptional team assembled for this study will mine vast amounts of data to come up with possible cancer vulnerabilities and the most promising ways to attack GBM, giving new hope to brain-tumor patients," said Dr. Michael Berens, Ph.D., Director of TGen's Cancer and Cell Biology Division, and principal investigator of the project.

GBM grows rapidly and commonly spreads to nearby brain tissue. It usually is treated by surgical removal of as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation and conventional chemotherapy. The prognosis is very poor, and patients survive a median of only 14 months after diagnosis.

The goal of this study is to use newly uncovered knowledge about the genomes of hundreds of glioblastoma specimens to discover new medicines that can precisely target tumors, shrinking or even eliminating them, with minimal harm to other cells and minimal side effects for patients.

In a discovery phase, TGen, VARI and Thomson Reuters will conduct the most extensive scan ever undertaken of available public data about the potential genetic causes of GBM. This search will identify the most promising gene
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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