Where Does the Money Go?
Proceeds from the 6th Annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk will benefit the Pacific Northwest Region’s most promising brain cancer research projects, including work currently being conducted at the Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish Medical Center (the Ivy Center), the Institute for Systems Biology and Accium Biosciences. Funds raised for the 2013 Brain Cancer Walk will also support programs and services that benefit brain cancer patients, including clinical trials, advocacy programs and comprehensive patient care and support services in the Pacific Northwest.
“The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk provides a powerful day of support and hope to people in the Pacific Northwest who are battling brain cancer and the people who love them,” said Dr. Greg Foltz, neurosurgeon at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute and director of the Ivy Center. “For every dollar raised at these walks, another nine dollars have been secured from other grant sources. This makes the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk the main driver for brain cancer research and new treatments in the Pacific Northwest. Each year we are amazed by the effort our community makes to support the program.”
Brain tumor stem cells are the main focus of the research projects funded by the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. Recent research points to stem cells as the cause of tumor recurrence in most patients. Researchers believe that a better understanding of patients’ unique tumor markers is the key to facilitating advances in treatment, extending patient survival rates, and eventually unlocking a cure for brain cancer.
The Ivy Center at Swedish is at the forefront of brain cancer stem cell research in the Pacific Northwest. Operating within a world-class research laboratory that facilitates rapid genetic analysis of brain tumors, the distinguished Ivy Center research team is dedicated to providing patients with the opportunity to participate in community-based clinical trials not currently available to patients elsewhere in the region. The Center’s scientists and physicians also leverage collaborations with an extensive network of regional and national partners.
A recent study lead by the Ivy Center in collaboration with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and funded in part by proceeds from the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk has received national media attention. The study, which explores stem cells in tumors removed from brain cancer patients at the Ivy Center has resulted in a highly competitive $1.1 million federal grant award to study and categorize these cancer stem cells and the vulnerabilities that could lead to new treatment approaches for patients. Another recent collaboration with Accium Biosciences exploring the use of the drug Temozolomide (TMZ) led to a new FDA-approved clinical trial to measure the amount of TMZ which is active in each patient’s tumor. This work was funded in part by the Brain Cancer Walk, and has also received funding from the NIH.
In addition to funding promising research studies, proceeds from the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk have been used to fund the Integrative Patient Support Program at the Ivy Center. Through the Integrative Patient Support Program, patients and their families have access to a licensed social worker who is focused on addressing the challenges unique to people living with brain tumors. The Integrative Patient Support Specialist works directly with patients to provide a range of services including emotional support, help with logistical needs, assistance with financial or insurance issues and long-term planning, as well as accessing or scheduling complimentary therapies.
The technology exists to cure brain cancer. And adequate research funding is essential to unlocking it. Donations from individual donors and corporations, like those raised at the annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk, are critically important in ensuring that the Pacific Northwest continues to be a home for cutting-edge brain cancer research. Your support of the Walk also ensures that brain cancer patients in our area have access to promising new clinical trials and support to improve and extend their quality of life. The goal is to bring about the day when more brain cancer patients can look forward to living longer, healthier lives.