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UAB joins elite brain cancer research group
Date:7/9/2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Brain cancer experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have been selected for membership in the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project. The project is a national consortium of cutting-edge hospitals and academic centers working to improve treatment and survival for patients with a kind of malignant brain tumor called a glioma.

As part of the nine-member consortium, UAB will serve as the only research site in the Southeast. UAB is one of four consortium members working in conjunction with its own National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and with a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in brain cancer.

"Being named to this project is a huge honor for us, and it shows we've kept pace and excelled in collaborative and translational research objectives," said G. Yancey Gillespie, Ph.D., UAB professor of neurosurgery and principal investigator for the Ivy Genomics-Based Medicine Project.

Gliomas are tumors that arise by transformation of the body's glial cells, which make up 90 percent of the brain and spinal cord and normally work in concert with neurons. The consortium members strive to unravel how genetic differences between gliomas can lead to more effective and even personalized treatments for patients.

The project will categorize tumors using sophisticated molecular profiling and, for the first time, test each brain tumor against a wide spectrum of treatments to match DNA markers with differences in cancer-fighting response.

"Currently, all patients get basically the same treatment without taking into account the genetic profile of their tumor," said Catherine Ivy, founder of the Ivy Foundation and the driving force behind the genomic project.

"The end goal of this research initiative is to identify how tumors with different genetic features respond to a set of treatment regimens and ultimately, it is hoped, provide physicians with the tools
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Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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