Today, the National Brain Tumor Society, the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to defeating brain tumors and improving the lives of patients with brain tumors, and StacheStrong, a non-profit devoted to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research, are announcing a partnership to collaboratively fund two innovative research projects.
Combined, the groups are providing nearly $1 million to a team of researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and to Anna Krichevsky, PhD, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“We’re excited to again be working with our friends at StacheStrong to advance two promising, novel strategies to take on glioblastoma, one of the toughest tumors to treat in all of oncology,” said David Arons, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Brain Tumor Society. “We have a positive track record of collaborating with StacheStrong to do more together and have a bigger impact on some of the most cutting-edge research happening in neuro-oncology, and we are thrilled we could partner for another round of impactful grant-making to two outstanding teams of researchers.”
At UCLA, David Nathanson, PhD, Associate Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, will serve as the project’s principal investigator (PI), with lab member Elizabeth Fernandez and Dr. Timothy Cloughesy serving as co-principal investigators for the grant. Their project will study the potential for a novel antibody-drug conjugate to overcome methods of cell-death resistance in glioblastoma laboratory models.
At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Anna Krichevsky’s lab is developing an innovative approach to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing via lipid nanoparticles to target a microRNA molecule that’s been found to be a key driver of tumor growth in almost all glioblastoma tumors. Her team hopes to demonstrate that RNA-based medicines and gene editing approaches can serve as breakthrough therapies for malignant brain tumors.
“Together, we are igniting a beacon of hope for those affected by this formidable disease,” said Colin Gerner, President and Founder of StacheStrong. “By combining our resources and expertise, we will propel the frontiers of science, paving the way for breakthrough discoveries and innovative treatments. Our collaboration exemplifies the power of unity and collective action, fueling a renewed determination to conquer brain cancer and restore quality of life.”
The grants are being announced to coincide with the fifth-annual Glioblastoma Awareness Day in the United States, which was spearheaded by NBTS in 2019 and supported by other brain tumor advocacy organizations, including StacheStrong.
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant (cancerous) brain tumor, accounting for approximately half of all primary malignant brain tumors. These tumors are also the most aggressive, complex, difficult to treat, and deadly type of adult brain tumor. Approximately 14,490 new cases of glioblastoma will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023, and it’s estimated that more than 10,000 individuals in the U.S. will succumb to their disease this year. The five-year survival rate for glioblastoma patients is only 6.9%, and the median length of survival is only 8 months. These rates have changed little during the past 30 years.