Showing posts with label brain tumors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brain tumors. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why Give Wednesday: The Forgotten Cancer



Brain Cancer

The Forgotten Cancer


Brain cancer is a disease of the brain in which cancer cells arise in the brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue, a tumor, that interferes with brain functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions.

The lack of funding for brain cancer research is why brain cancer is often called the "forgotten cancer." Only about 1 percent of national funding is dedicated to brain cancer research. But did you know that 20-40 percent of all cancers spread to the brain? Brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children. It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males aged 20-39.  Awareness of the magnitude of brain tumors are so important, and it is UAB's mission to eliminate cancer. The best way to find the cure is through research, and without funding, research cannot happen. 

Brain cancer can arise from many different types of brain cells or occur when cancer cells from another part of the body spread to the brain. The causes of brain cancer are difficult to prove. Treatments usually are directed by a team of doctors and are designed for the individual patient; treatments may include surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, often in combination. Depending on the brain cancer type and overall health status of the patient, brain cancer frequently has only a fair to poor prognosis.

UAB is committed to the care of our patients. It is our goal to make valuable and innovative contributions to the field of neuroscience through a diverse, rigorous, enduring clinical and laboratory research effort. UAB is nationally ranked among other neurology programs, and it is our mission to forge partnerships and reach out to the community to improve health and quality of life throughout the state, nation and world. 

The Comprehensive Cancer Center Neuro-Oncology Program consists of a multi-disciplinary team all devoted to the care and treatment of patients with brain tumors and neurologic complications of systemic cancers. This team includes Neurosurgeons, Radiation Oncologists, Neuro-Oncologists, Neuropathologists, Neuropsychologists, Nurse Practitioners, and Research Scientists.

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is a leader in brain tumor research, currently being one of only a few institutions in the nation to hold a SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) grant in brain tumor research from the NCI. This grant allows the Cancer Center to conduct research that can be quickly and safely translated from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside. 

Statistics suggest that brain cancer occurs infrequently and is likely to develop in about 23,000 new people per year with about 13,000 deaths as estimated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Cancer Society.

Brain tumors are the…
second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20
second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20-39
fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20-39

How can you help?
Your donation will help create new research funds to support research projects, pilot projects, and bridge funding for investigators in our areas of disease focus.

Support new fellows and fellowship programs so that we can continue to educate and mentor young clinicians and investigators within the department.

Establish funds to support clinical programs/clinical research in chronic disease areas such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease, and in prevention and education programs in cognitive health and stroke/cerebrovascular disease.

Establish new endowed chairs, professorships, lectureships, fellowships, and scholarships.


All donations are welcome and can be given through our website


UAB offers world-renowned specialists in the care of surgical brain tumors. Our neurosurgeons are board-certified or board-eligible, and are active contributors to the cutting-edge of brain tumor therapy, nationally. All neurosurgeons are currently accepting patients.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brain Tumor Awareness Month

As May comes to a close, there is one more awareness month that we need to pause and remember: Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Approximately 600,000 people in the United States are living with a brain tumor diagnosis, and nearly 60,000 children and adults will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year alone.

At the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, our scientists and physicians are working every day to seek a cure that will save the lives of these patients. Some of this research is conducted through our SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) program, a $2.3-million grant from the National Cancer Institute that is designed to move scientific findings quickly and efficiently from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside. For example, one of the most promising projects of the SPORE involves using the herpes simplex virus to target and kill brain tumor cells while sparing the surrounding cells.

This is just one example of the innovative research being done at the Cancer Center. I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our brain tumor research program and read stories of our patients whose lives were saved by the treatments they received here.

-Ed Partridge, M.D.