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Simons Foundation grant boosts brain tumor research
Date:2/1/2008

NEW YORK, January 31, 2008 A $10 million commitment from James H. and Marilyn H. Simons through the Simons Foundation will support preclinical initiatives undertaken as part of Memorial Sloan-Ketterings new Brain Tumor Center (BTC).

Established in 2007, the BTC is designed to achieve fundamental new insights into the molecular and cellular properties that drive tumor development and growth. Investigators plan to apply that knowledge to the creation of therapies that target cancer cells and the abnormal signaling pathways needed to maintain them.

With its emphasis on carrying discoveries from the basic and translational research laboratory all the way to clinical trials, the BTC offers the potential for meaningful progress against one of the most challenging forms of cancer.

We are grateful to Jim and Marilyn Simons for their foresight and generosity in helping to get the Brain Tumor Center off to a strong start, said Harold Varmus, Memorial Sloan-Ketterings President. The work to be done through the BTC is highly complex, but absolutely essential, and we welcome the Foundations support in moving forward.

The grant from the Simons Foundation will underwrite preclinical studies of new therapies to confirm that they produce their desired effect in animal models. There currently exists no drug pipeline developed specifically for gliomas, and such preclinical work is an essential step in the design of new therapies for use in humans.

Brain cancer poses a particular challenge to treatment, in part because of the difficulties involved in getting drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier, which physically shields the brain from chemicals circulating in the body. There are also concerns about the potential side effects of drugs that do succeed in entering the brain. The highly precise treatments developed through the BTC will be designed to destroy cancer cells while sparing nearby sensitive tissues an especially important consideration in dealing wi
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Contact: Christine Hickey
hickey1@mskcc.org
212-639-3573
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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