The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation  has awarded an $885,294 grant to Barrow Neurological Institute for brain cancer research.

The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America. Catherine Ivy is the founder and president of the Ivy Foundation, which has a research funding focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults.

The Barrow brain cancer research program is summarized by the following:

  • In glioblastoma, cancer stem cells are thought to be the driving force of tumor progression and recurrence.
  • The research team has identified a reservoir of cancer stem cells in humans that is undetectable by conventional MRI.
  • This study is the world’s first brain tumor clinical trial targeting cancer stem cells with focused radiotherapy beams.
  • With this strategy, the team hopes to eliminate a source of glioblastoma recurrence, as well as cut off its outlet for its spread to other brain regions.
  • The hope is to turn glioblastoma from a multi-focal disease to a self-contained process that can be controlled with localized therapy.

“With support from the Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, we can now finally take the steps necessary to develop and test this strategy in newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients,” says Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center. “Our hope is that it will not only be a relatively safe strategy, but one that starkly impacts the ability of glioblastomas to recur or move beyond its site of origin in newly-diagnosed patients.”

The progress only continues.

“We are encouraged and remain strongly committed to moving the progress forward for patients diagnosed with brain cancer,” said Ivy. “Barrow Neurological Institute is an important strategic partner in our objective to double the life expectancy of people diagnosed with GBM within the next seven years.”