"These Project Awards
reflect Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure's focus on providing the premier patient service – funding research that holds the potential
to bring us all to a day
when safe and effective treatments are in place for each tumor type and there are simply fewer patients in need of therapy."

–Kate Carr,
Accelerate Brain Cancer
Cure President and CEO


This year, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure announced funding for a record number of grants through our Project Awards program.  We are investing $1.5M to support breakthrough research at leading institutions throughout the country, a 100 percent increase in funding when compared with 2006.  The awards fund 12 investigators who are conducting work on the cutting edge of scientific inquiry, including cancer vaccines, biomarkers, cancer stem cells, and advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure fuels advancement in the field by funding outstanding and novel translational research.  Project Awards provide up to $250,000 in support of one-year studies with a clear development path and potential to provide meaningful improvements in treatment outcomes for brain cancer patients in the near future.

Nearly 90 percent of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure revenue goes into our programmatic expenses, allowing us to focus significant resources in support of the researchers who are working to find more effective, safer and less toxic treatments for patients.  This year’s Project Awards come at a critical and exciting time in this field — a time when we are seeing an intensified public and institutional focus on programs to treat brain cancer.  We are matching the increased interest with much needed dollars, while staying focused on finding the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.


As an organization committed to achieving measurable results, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure follows clearly defined strategic objectives. This year’s awards focus on three strategic areas of translational research:

  • diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of disease status and response to therapy in glioma (including pediatric low-grade glioma);
  • development of molecularly targeted therapeutics for brain cancer; and
  • quality of life in patients with brain cancer (co-funded with the Tug McGraw Foundation).

Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers of Disease Status and Response to Therapy in Glioma

A biomarker indicates a change in expression or state of a protein or gene that correlates with the risk or progression of a disease, or with the susceptibility of the disease to a given treatment.  Research areas in this category include both tumor biomarkers and noninvasive (imaging or serum-based) biomarkers.

Ken Aldape, M.D.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

“Multigene Predictors of Outcome in Glioblastoma.”
A study to test the hypothesis that a 38-gene set (identified from a meta-analysis of microarray data) can serve as a multi-gene predictor of outcome in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and demonstrate that an over-expression of mesenchymal genes is associated with poor prognosis and treatment resistance in GBM. > more

  Panos Anastasiadis, Ph.D.
The Mayo Clinic

“Cadherins and Catenins as Biomarkers of Pediatric and Adult Glioma Aggressiveness.” 
A study to better understand the factors that regulate brain tumor growth and invasiveness and determine whether cadherins or catenins can be used as prognostic markers to predict tumor aggressiveness and the likelihood of tumor recurrence following surgery in both adult and pediatric central nervous system malignancies. > more

Markus Bredel, M.D., Ph.D.
Northwestern University

“Predicting the Therapy Response of High-Grade Gliomas Based on a Network of Endogenous Modulators of Nuclear Factor-kappaB.”
A multi-site study to validate evidence that the expression state of several endogenous modulators can predict the resistance and therapy outcome of high-grade glioma patients. > more

  Meng Law, M.D.
Mount Sinai Medical Center

“Standardization of Perfusion MR Imaging and Predicting Clinical Outcome in Patients with Gliomas Using Perfusion MR Metrics in a Multi-Institutional Setting.”
A multi-center study to determine if perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) metrics can predict patient outcome better than current histopathologic techniques and if perfusion MRI can be standardized between institutions. > more

Development of Molecularly Targeted Therapeutics for Brain Cancer

Molecularly targeted therapies intervene in a particular molecular signaling pathway or are able to differentiate normal cell from tumor cell.  Research areas in this category include small-molecule targeted therapies, chemosensitization/radiosensitization, vaccines, gene therapy (oncolytic virus and non-viral), and antibody-directed therapies.

Alan D’Andrea, M.D.
Dana Farber
“Inhibition of ATM and CHK2 as Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme.”
A study to develop a new form of chemotherapy to inhibit the process of DNA repair that can be used for the treatment of malignant gliomas. > more

  Xing Fan, M.D., Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

“Depleting Cancer Stem Cells by Notch Pathway Blockade in Glioblastomas.”
A study focused on targeting cancer stem cells both in vitro and in vivo and examining the mechanisms by which Notch signaling regulates these cancer stem cells. > more

Qihong Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
The Wistar Institute

“Development of MicroRNA Inhibitors for the Treatment of Glioblastomas.” 
A study to develop small organic molecules that specifically induce cell death in brain tumor cells by targeting oncogenic microRNAs (single-stranded noncoding RNAs that represent a novel class of recently discovered gene regulators). > more

  Gary Landreth, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University

“Efficacy of PPARg Agonists in Treatment of Glioma.”
A xenograft study focused on the development of new therapy to slow or stop tumor growth and its invasion of the surrounding brain tissue.  The team will test the efficacy of pioglitazone, an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of type II diabetes, which works by physically associating with DNA and changing gene expression. > more
  Duane Mitchell, MD, PhD
Duke University Medical Center

“RNA Loaded Dendritic Cell Vaccines Targeting Brain Tumor Stem Cells During Hematopoietic Recovery from Temozolomide-induced Lymphopenia.”
A cancer vaccine study to investigate the use of the most powerful stimulatory cells of the immune system, called dendritic cells, to enhance immunologic responses directed against brain tumor stem cells. > more
  Inder Verma, Ph.D.
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

“Novel Therapies for Glioblastoma.”
A study using a novel mouse model that faithfully recapitulates human GBM to test if Aurora-A kinase can be a molecular target of therapy. > more
  Alfred Yung, M.D.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

“Identification of Compensatory Molecular Pathways Using Functional Genomic and Synthetic Lethality Screening in Glioblastoma Treated with PI3K Inhibitors.”
A project to identify novel targets that have a synergistic effect on tumors treated with PI3K inhibitors or gliomas where PI3K has been silenced. > more

Co-funded with the Tug McGraw Foundation

This grant is the result of a strategic collaboration, combining Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure’s dedication to advancing therapies leading to a cure for brain cancer with the Tug McGraw Foundation’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults with brain tumors and their families.

  Joseph Costello, Ph.D.
University of California San Francisco

“Evolution of a Hypomethylated and Hyperproliferative Phenotype in Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) and its Reversal by a High Methyl-donor Regimen.”
An in vivo exploration of how replenishing DNA methylation (the normal enzyme-mediated addition of methyl-groups to DNA) managed through diet can affect GBM tumor growth. > more

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure Project Awards

Since 2001, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure has funded more than $6M to 25 leading institutions through its Project Awards



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