San Diego Brain Cancer Experts Partner with Industry on Research for Early Tumor Recurrence Detection



Media Contact:

Stephanie DiStefano, ABC2, 619-630-6305, [email protected]

San Diego Brain Cancer Experts Partner with Industry on Research for Early Tumor Recurrence Detection

Venture philanthropy, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, funds project between UC San Diego Health System and Regulus Therapeutics Inc.

SAN DIEGO, CA (October 14, 2014) – Through funds raised by the San Diego community in late 2013 at Over the Edge for Brain Cancer (, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) awarded a grant to UC San Diego and Regulus Therapeutics to address challenges of recurrent tumor detection.

Early detection of tumor recurrence remains one of the greatest challenges in the treatment of brain cancer.  Even with the most sensitive MRI technologies available today, tumor re-growth after surgery can be masked by other changes in brain images caused directly or indirectly by surgery and other treatments such as radiation therapy. Consequently, it is often extremely difficult to discern whether a new drug treatment is working or not for a patient, or in the setting of a clinical trial for a new brain cancer drug candidate.

A research collaboration between UC San Diego and Regulus Therapeutics aims to tackle this problem head-on by profiling cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples to identify a potential microRNA signature in recurrent brain cancer.  Tumor cells, including brain cancer cells, are increasingly known to secrete unique molecule signatures called microRNAs into bodily fluids such as CSF and blood. Regulus Therapeutics has developed a unique technology platform to extract, profile, and analyze microRNAs from small volumes of blood (plasma, serum or whole blood) to differentiate disease from healthy patient samples and to identify microRNAs as potential biomarkers for disease. Regulus has profiled approximately 3,000 clinical samples in a range of disease states and Regulus aims to apply its technology to a clinical trial at UC San Diego Health System.

“This research collaboration aims to address the challenges that clinicians face in distinguishing between reactive changes to therapy or tumor progression, which is a fundamental need in the care of our brain cancer patients,” said Dr. Clark Chen, Vice Chairman, Research and Academic Affairs, division of Neurosurgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine and neurosurgeon with UC San Diego Health System.

“We’re excited to invest in this pioneering research and proud to be value-added teammates and partners in shaping the project,” said Max Wallace, CEO of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. 


About Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) is a venture philanthropy 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that drives cutting-edge research and treatments for brain tumors.   Through strategic partnerships with medical research centers, early-stage biotechnology companies and large multi-national pharmaceutical companies ABC2 has awarded more than $20 million in brain tumor research funding to highly qualified investigators and physician-scientists from 42 institutions and companies.  For more information, please visit:

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