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OUR PARTNERS.

Money for research is critical in finding new and effective forms of treatment for brain cancer. Therefore, we have partnered with these prestigious cancer centers who are making great strides in finding and developing treatments through their innovative research. Through your enduring support, we are able to donate 100% of the proceeds to help them continue this very important Glioblastoma brain cancer research.

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Harold C. Simmons has been designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a comprehensive center, an elite distinction held by only the top-tier cancer centers nationwide. The Simmons Cancer Center is the only cancer center in North Texas to attain this prestigious status, which is bestowed by the NCI in recognition of innovative research and excellence in patient care.  

 

Working with the Director of Development for Cancer Research at UTSW, we have decided to use the money from the Texas Ales for Ashley to support the work of Dr Elizabeth Maher. She is doing some great research using spectroscopy to determine if a certain gene is present in the tumor. With this information, new therapies and treatment options are available to the patient. We will make a three year commitment to fund this important research in North Texas.

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Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a comprehensive center, an elite distinction held by only the top-tier cancer centers nationwide. The Lurie Cancer Center is the only institution in Chicago that possesses an NCI-supported Brain SPORE.

 

Funds will support the work of Dr. Derek Wainwright, PHD. He is Principal Investigator of a brain cancer immunology and immunotherapy laboratory at Northwestern University, has previously conducted research that has been translated into multiple clinical trials for glioblastoma patients, and is currently expanding his research objectives into understanding how the molecular mechanisms of high distress levels, advanced aging, and immunosuppressive IDO1, suppress immunotherapeutic efficacy in patients diagnosed with malignant glioma.

 

With this new information, innovative and exciting therapeutic treatment options are rapidly becoming available to improve the survival of patients with brain cancer.

Read more about his work here.

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National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) unrelentingly invests in, mobilizes, and unites the brain tumor community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for patients and caregivers.

Building on over 30 years of experience, we are the largest patient advocacy organization in the United States committed to curing brain tumors and improving the lives of patients and families. With thousands beside us, our collective voices and actions are a powerful force for progress.

Our donors, volunteers, advocates, and partners fuel our work and accelerate breakthroughs in brain tumor research. We will not stop until we defeat brain tumors — once and for all.

The GBM Foundation supports the GBM Agile research initiative. 

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Winship is one of 71 National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer research centers in the United States. For 80 years, Winship has coordinated and directed cancer research, education and care throughout Emory University and its health care system, Emory Healthcare. Winship is ranked first in Georgia for cancer care and is top-ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Funds will support the work of Dr. Edjah Nduom at Emory Brain Health.  

 

Altering Long non-coding RNA (LncRNA) Expression: Edjah Nduom

While repurposing immune therapy and other drugs has proven to be effective in some cancers, this approach has not proven viable for treating glioblastoma and pediatric cancers including medulloblastoma and gliomas. What if there was a way to alter the immune cells in our brain to make them more receptive to immune therapy? Dr. Nduom believes that the answer lies in developing a novel class of drugs to target Long non-coding RNA (LncRNA).

Genetic sequencing has resulted in discoveries about DNA and the messenger RNA responsible for encoding proteins, but there is a much larger part of the human genome uninvolved in coding genes. The term non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is a commonly employed term for RNA that does not encode a protein, but this does not mean that such RNAs do not contain information nor have function. Although it has been generally assumed that most genetic information is transacted by proteins, recent evidence suggests that the majority of the genome is in fact transcribed into ncRNAs, many of which are alternatively spliced and/or processed into smaller products. 

Dr. Nduom is now interested in exploring tens of thousands of longer transcripts called LncRNAs, which is largely uncharted territory for brain tumor research, and developing a new class of drugs to alter them. As he has been characterizing these molecules, Dr. Nduom’s team has data to suggest that the LncRNAs are different in brain tumor patients than in healthy volunteers. Dr. Nduom is finding that LncRNAs are very specific (they might be upregulated in immune cells but not in brain cells or muscle cells, for example), and they have different functions in different types of cells, as well. Moreover, LncRNAs perform their functions despite being present in only a few transcripts per cell. That is to say, just the slightest presence of LncRNA can change the entire function of a cell. Similarly, it does not take a lot to knock down a LncRNA that may be causing problems. And, because they are easy to knock down, LncRNAs might be ideal therapeutic targets.  

In partnership with Hui Mao, PhD, a nanoparticle expert at Emory, Dr. Nduom wishes to undertake a pilot study to develop a whole new class of therapeutics to target the LncRNAs and make immune therapy effective in glioblastoma. The research team hopes to design nanoparticles small enough to cross the blood brain barrier to target the aberrant LncRNAs in immune cells and macrophages most frequently immune suppressed in glioblastoma. Dr. Nduom’s team believes this approach could render immune therapy effective in glioblastoma for the first time. 

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Research Focus Areas

  • Glioblastoma

  • Cancer immunology and immunotherapy

  • Aging and cancer

  • Neuroimmunology

  • Mechanisms of resistance to therapy for cancer

Research Summary

Dr. Derek Wainwright's laboratory has 3 primary research goals. The FIRST goal is to understand how glioblastoma (GBM) cell indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO; IDO1) increases immunosuppressive Treg infiltration, suppresses the immune response, and decreases overall survival in mouse models and human subjects with glioblastoma. Our previous work discovered that glioblastoma cell IDO1 non-enzymically upregulates immunosuppressive complement factor H (CFH) and factor H-like 1 (FHL-1) in human GBM cells, which in-turn, suppresses the anti-tumor immune response through intratumoral Treg and MDSC accumulation. The SECOND goal is the active application of immunotherapy for patients with glioblastoma. Our group was the first to show that the simultaneous treatment with radiation, anti-PD-1 mAb, and pharmacological IDO1 enzyme inhibition leads to an unprecedented survival benefit in experimental models with intracranial brain tumors. This preclinical observation motivated the now ongoing phase I clinical trial of newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients treated with simultaneous radiation, nivolumab (anti-PD-1 mAb), and BMS-986205 (IDO1 enzyme inhibition) [NCT04047706]. The Wainwright Laboratory has performed the immunocorrelative profiling of patient-isolated PBMCs, tumor, stool, and serum that’s aimed at generating a predictive algorithm for stratifying responders [overall survival (OS) ≥20 months] versus non-responders (OS < 20 months). The THIRD goal is to better understand why older adults with glioblastoma die significantly faster as compared to younger adults with glioblastoma. We were the first group to show that advanced age increases immunosuppression in both the mouse and human brain. We were also the first to demonstrate that there is a functional consequence of increased immunosuppression in the aged brain that decreases the efficacy of immunotherapy with radiation, anti-PD-1 mAb, and IDO1 enzyme inhibitor treatment in older adults with GBM. Currently, our group is working with medicinal chemist, Dr. Gary Schiltz, PhD, to generate new drugs that aim to reverse immunosuppression in the aged brain (and simultaneously against tumor cells) of adults with glioblastoma.

The Wainwright Laboratory is an active training ground for students in high school, undergraduate school, graduate school, postdoctoral fellowship, medical school, and medical residency.

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Dr. Leif Eriksson

Theoretical biophysical chemistry in form of computer based modeling of various biochemical processes and systems. Our focus has for a long time related to DNA damage processes, cancer and drug design; often linked to radical and photochemistry. In recent years, we have explored increasingly larger systems, including diffusion across biological membranes, drug loaded liposomes, derivation of protein structures and studies of their mechanisms, modeling of protein-protein complexes, and development of new inhibitors in cancer treatment and as antibiotics.

We utilize a wide range of methods in our research, from DFT and QM/MM to molecular dynamics simulations and bioinformatic tools such as VHTS/docking and homology modeling.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, working with French colleagues, have successfully developed a method able to kill the aggressive brain tumour glioblastoma. By blocking certain functions in the cell with a docked molecule, the researchers cause the cancer to die of stress. Major progress in curing brain tumours | University of Gothenburg (gu.se)

UT Southwestern
Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center
GBM Agil NBTS
Emory Winship Cancer Institute
Loyola
Univesity of Gothenburg
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