Two of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure awardees, Drs. Cameron Brennan (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) and Paul Mischel (UCLA) exchange thoughts

First Angel Investor Award

Granted to a Collaborative Team of Researchers from UCLA and Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Combining entrepreneurial approaches to fill the gap in funding with an impassioned commitment to finding a cure for brain cancer, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure continues to evolve, supporting ground-breaking research to accelerate the pace of discovery for new therapies.

In the business world venture capitalists, sometimes called “angel investors,” fast-track funding for novel ideas that hold promise for extraordinary return. Our latest innovation takes a page from the venture capital handbook. We established an “Angel Investor Fund” — our own non-profit version of a venture capital fund to award grants for significant, novel research projects that will move the brain cancer field forward in the near term.

We initiated the program in early October with a request for proposals from a small group of top researchers for projects that would accelerate the pace of discovery in brain cancer research. Investigators presented their proposals at our annual scientific retreat on October 18, 2006, and peer reviewers evaluated the merits of their projects.  The proposals represented exciting ideas in areas such as cancer stem cell research, drug delivery, early detection, and gene expression and targeted therapy.

We are excited to announce that a team of researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (Drs. Paul Mischel, Ingo Mellinghoff and Tim Cloughesy) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Drs. Charles Sawyers, Phil Gutin and Cameron Brennan) is the first to receive the Angel Investor award, given in memory of Dan Case.

In this unique partnership, researchers will use the funding to conduct a combination drug treatment clinical trial to address the limited success of single-agent targeted therapies observed in most glioblastoma patients.  The trial will focus on combining two agents that may potentially block the signaling pathways on which tumor cells depend for continued growth.  Recruitment is expected to start in the summer of 2007.

Lead investigator, Dr. Mischel remarks, “It is a thrilling opportunity to work with peers from UCLA and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to conduct cutting edge research.  We hope this will bring us one step closer to providing the right treatment to the right tumor at the right time.  I appreciate the opportunity to conduct this collaborative work and look forward to working with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure on this project.”

 

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