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National Brain Tumor Society Awards $1 Million In New Research Grants For Projects Studying Low-Grade Gliomas

Published on April 18, 2016 in Press Release

Funding provided through the family of Ashley and Alan Dabbiere and the organization’s Oligodendroglioma Research Fund will add four projects to the LOGLIO Consortium

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), the the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the brain tumor community, announced today new grant funding for four research projects studying a category of brain cancers known as low-grade gliomas, with particular focus on a rare brain tumor known as oligodendroglioma. Each grant awarded will provide $250,000 in funding over two years.

Funding for the grants is being provided through the NBTS’ Oligodendroglioma Research Fund and specifically via the generosity of the family of Ashley and Alan Dabbiere, who raised more than $1 million for the Oligodendroglioma Research Fund at their “Grey Soiree” last May.

The four projects, while funded through NBTS and the Dabbiere family, will supplement the Dabbiere’s new low-grade glioma research collective based at the University of California, San Francisco called LOGLIO. The LOGLIO group currently consists of four research teams consisting of 32 investigators across eight institutions. The NBTS funded projects will benefit the current four teams and the work emerging from the first two phases previously funded by NBTS’ Oligodendroglioma Research Fund and a forthcoming oligodendroglioma biomarker grant program.

“Having been diagnosed with a lower-grade glioma myself, it is critical that I help lead the fight for this historically underserved patient community,” said Mrs. Dabbiere, a brain tumor survivor, research champion, philanthropist, and advocate. “Our hope is that these grants will lead to better understanding of low-grade gliomas, particularly oligodendrogliomas, in ways that will allow the research field to quickly identify potential new treatment options for patients. Immediate impact is our goal, here. We believe if we provide the funding and get multiple institutions involved, we can achieve our mission faster. And having supported both NBTS and LOGLIO, we are confident that all of these approaches are helping each other.”

The new projects being funded through NBTS and the Dabbiere family include:

  • The Glioma Longitudinal AnalySiS (GLASS) Consortium – Lead Investigator: Roel Verhaak, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Functional Characterization of Germline Risk Variants in Oligodendroglioma – Lead Investigators: Jun Song, PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Robert Jenkins, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic
  • Identification of Molecular Triggers of Aggressive Growth in IDH-mutant, 1p19q Co-deleted Lower-grade Gliomas – Lead Investigator: Daniel Brat, MD, PhD, Emory University
  • The International Low-Grade Glioma Registry – Lead Investigator: Elizabeth Claus, MD, PhD, Yale University

“Our priority with these grants is the patient,” said David F. Arons, JD, Chief Executive Officer, National Brain Tumor Society. “These grants, and their synergy with the LOGLIO efforts, create greater research capacity in the area of low-grade gliomas and increases opportunities for breakthrough discoveries to be made while increasing the speed of development of new treatments.”

About Low Grade Gliomas, Including Oligodendroglioma

Pure oligodendroglioma is a relatively rare brain tumor, representing approximately 6% of gliomas. In addition, there are patients with mixed oligoastrocytomas, accounting for another 2.3% of gliomas. Together, these oligodendroglia-based tumors account for 1,850 (or 2.7%) of new brain tumor diagnoses each year in the United States. Because of this rarity, both preclinical and clinical research efforts on this tumor type lag behind the more prevalent forms of brain tumors. Median age at diagnosis ranges from 42 for mixed oligoastrocytomas, to 43 for “pure” oligodendrogliomas, and 50 for anaplastic oligodendroglioma. Survival rates and treatments depend on location, extent of possible surgical resection, histopathology, and molecular aggressiveness. In general, oligodendroglia-based tumors are considered “low-grade gliomas” – categorized as WHO Grade II or III tumors – and progress more slowly than higher-grade brain tumors. Other low-grade gliomas include astrocytomas and mixed oligoastrocytomas. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 LGGs are diagnosed in the United States every year, accounting for nearly 15% of all primary brain tumors.

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