Brain cancer breakthroughs don't follow conventional wisdom. Neither do we. ABC2 partners with scientists, physicians and drug companies to push the limits of science and technology. We have awarded more than 100 grants totaling over $20 million to world-renowned researchers and physician-scientists from 54 institutions. Our strategic approach to speeding new treatments falls into these six basic categories:
Know Your Enemy
Turns out the DNA signature of your tumor can be the best predictor of how well a drug will treat it. Why? Because the same gene mutations that give rise to a brain tumor are often the weakest flanks when it comes to attacking it. ABC2’s Allele project is dedicated to making sure that all patients with brain cancer have this critical genomic information in hand as they start their treatment protocol. Learn more.
Early Detection is Key
Brain tumors are notoriously difficult to detect, and that’s what makes them so hard to treat. In fact brain tumors like GBM are usually in their advanced stages before even the first warning signs surface. ABC2’s brain cancer “biomarkers” projects are designed to bring next-generation technologies to bear on detecting brain cancer growth months or even years earlier than current medical tests can screen for it. Learn more.
You Can Run But You Can’t Hide
Loads of cells turn cancerous in your body every day, but these cancers never take root because your immune system is able to destroy them. But brain cancers hide in the brain, where the immune system is generally blocked from entering by the blood-brain barrier. But not always. ABC2’s “immunotherapy” projects are designed to harness recent breakthroughs in cancer research to unleash the latent power of your body’s greatest warrior. Learn more.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
It’s hard to clear a clogged drain with a pair of pliers, and it’s just as hard to treat one person’s brain tumor with a drug that’s been tailored to treat someone else’s. That’s why ABC2 is helping to fund a public/private consortium of hospitals, drug companies, and research organizations focused on matching up specific tumor types with the drugs that are most likely to thwart them. Learn more.
Whacking the Next Mole
One of the hardest parts about treating a brain tumor is that no sooner have you found a drug that can thwart its growth then the tumor has figured out a new biochemical pathway to avoid being detected. Some scientists think there may be a pattern to this evasion, however, and that’s led them to speculate that if the order in which a tumor attempts to build a new pathway can be determined in advance, perhaps measures can be taken to block the pathway before it’s even been created. Learn more.
Chance Favors the Prepared Mind
Most leading scientists acknowledge that it’s often better to be lucky than to be smart (witness Alexander Fleming and his accidental discovery of penicillin) but luck alone, as microbiologist Louis Pasteur would have been the first to tell you, is usually not enough. ABC2 is always on the lookout for facilitated serendipity in the search for brain cancer cures — one such example being Dr. Gregory Riggins' discovery that a common de-worming medication could be used to treat GBM. Learn more.
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