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UAB wins $5.7M neurofibromatosis grant
Date:10/3/2007

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. A team of UAB geneticists, doctors and biostatisticians has received $5.7 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to study and test new treatments for neurofibromatosis, or NF.

UAB is the lead research center in a nine-institution group called the NF Consortium. The coalition formed more than two years ago to design and manage multiple clinical trials held across the nation looking at new and more effective therapeutic options for adults and children diagnosed with NF.

The $5.7 million award will be shared among the NF Consortium members, with UABs research team serving as the operations center and distribution point for the government funds.

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UAB Department of Genetics and an internationally recognized expert in neurofibromatosis type 1, said the goal of the consortium is to streamline and improve the way clinical trials are performed for this disease, and to break down past barriers to discovering and testing cutting-edge NF treatments.

We expect results from the NF Consortium studies to provide a wider range of therapeutic options for patients with the goal of reducing the rates of tumor growth, and improving quality of life, Korf said.

By monitoring not only the clinical outcomes, but the effects of therapies on molecular targets, it will be possible to better understand NF as a disease, he said.

The other eight participating institutions are Childrens Hospital Boston, Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, Childrens National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Chicago, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

Often diagnosed in childhood, NF is a hereditary condition that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue that affects many bodily systems. As the tumors grow, they can press on vital area
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Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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