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Swedish in Seattle Unveils State-of-the-Art Brain Tumor Center Combining Advanced Treatment With Innovation in Research
Date:10/16/2008

- New facility provides patients access to advanced gene-sequencing technologies and gives new hope for those battling brain cancer

SEATTLE, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) today announced that as part of Swedish Medical Center's newly renovated Cherry Hill Campus, the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment (CABTT) has now officially opened its doors to patients diagnosed with both benign and malignant brain tumors. In a move that further establishes Swedish Medical Center as a leader in the field of neuroscience, CABTT's unique facility is the first community-based center in Washington state that enables scientists, researchers, doctors and patients to work collaboratively toward new treatment options for those diagnosed with all stages of brain tumors, including brain cancer.

"The Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment is poised to make major breakthroughs in the treatment of both benign and malignant brain tumors," said Marc Mayberg, M.D., co-executive director of Swedish Neuroscience Institute. "These advancements and the skilled work of the center's doctors, scientists and staff, bring Swedish to the forefront of brain-tumor research and treatment."

Now fully operational, the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment gives brain-tumor patients and their families access to a unique multidisciplinary team of skilled neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists and a specialized nursing staff to deliver coordinated care and innovative treatments for both benign and malignant brain tumors. CABTT's unique design places its world-class research facility directly adjacent to the patient clinic, providing instant access to promising new therapies discovered through gene-sequencing technologies.

"For patients managing a brain-cancer diagnosis, access to multiple doctors in one location cuts down on repeat appointments and provides more efficient care," said David Newell, M.D., co-executive director of Swedish Neuroscience Institute. "Centers such as CABTT are an important part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute's strategy to provide exceptional, compassionate and easy-to-access care to patients with neurological diseases and disorders."

Despite scientific research, brain cancer remains the most malignant form of cancer known to humankind, rapidly progressive and uniformly fatal, despite treatments ranging from surgery to radiation to chemotherapy. In the past 25 years, only two new treatments for brain cancer have been FDA approved and while some scientists and doctors are working hard toward a cure, the lack of funding and awareness for the disease -- coupled with the survival rate of patients -- leaves brain cancer to be classified as an 'orphaned' disease. With the unveiling of CABTT, Seattle-based doctors and researchers are working in collaboration to establish community-based clinical trials to further execute their research and increase the survivability and quality of life for patients diagnosed with brain cancer.

"Until recently, patients who received a brain-cancer diagnosis in the Pacific Northwest had few options for access to truly state-of-the-art facilities," said CABTT Director and SNI Neurosurgeon Gregory Foltz, M.D. "Brain cancer is a very aggressive, terminal disease, and most patients were previously faced with traveling to receive the best possible care and access to clinical trials, taking away precious time with their loved ones and leaving them with a sense of hopelessness. Our vision for CABTT is to create a facility that enables patients to actively participate in clinical trials expediting the approval process for new treatments and rivaling the top treatment centers in the country."

Advanced Technology Fuels Patient Care

Incorporated into the coordinated patient-care clinic, CABTT is home to a comprehensive brain-tumor research laboratory that provides rapid genetic analysis of all patient tumors. By analyzing DNA from tumors extracted during surgery, Dr. Foltz and his team of scientists and researchers are able to determine which genes are stimulating tumor growth. From there, the team is able to provide custom-tailored treatment options to fight reoccurring tumor growth. To date, this kind of individualized patient care improves survivability and provides a greater quality of life.

"Essentially we are looking for clues that tell us how the tumor is growing and hopefully how we can mitigate future growth patterns," said Dr. Foltz. "CABTT is the only place in the country doing this kind of next-generation genomic sequencing for all its brain-cancer patients and it's incredibly rewarding to apply this technology to increase the longevity and quality of our patients' lives."

The Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment was largely established with gifts from the philanthropic community. To date, CABTT has received more than $3.5 million in private community support led by a $2 million gift from the David and Sandra Sabey family. For more information about the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment or new initiatives from Swedish Neuroscience Institute, visit http://www.swedish.org.

About the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment

Opened in 2008, the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment (http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22) gives brain-tumor patients and their families access to a unique multidisciplinary team of skilled neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists and a specialized nursing staff to deliver coordinated care and innovative treatments for both benign and malignant brain tumors. CABTT's unique design places its world-class research facility directly adjacent to the outpatient clinic, providing patients instant access to promising new therapies discovered through gene-sequencing technologies. As part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute located on Swedish Medical Center's Cherry Hill Campus, CABTT is the first brain-tumor-specific, community-based facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest to provide new hope for patients with all stages of brain tumors, including brain cancer.

About the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

In 2004, Swedish Medical Center expanded its neuroscience services by establishing the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. The team of leading neurosurgeons and other specialists are building a world-class institute dedicated solely to the treatment and advancement of neurological disorders for patients in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus is the hub for the Institute and has been upgraded with four state-of-the-art operating rooms with intra-operative MRI and CT scanning, neuro-interventional radiology capabilities, a renovated neuro intensive-care unit, and a CyberKnife(R) center for radiosurgical treatment of tumors throughout the body. (http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22 )


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SOURCE Swedish Neuroscience Institute
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