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Breakthroughs

 

What is a breakthrough?


For medical researchers, a breakthrough is that “ah-ha!” moment – an answer to a question that brings them one step closer to the goal of improving, extending and, ultimately, saving lives.

 

This year, one such breakthrough came in a most unusual package: our canine companions. Through American Brain Tumor Association-funded research, dogs diagnosed with naturally-occurring meningioma brain tumors – the most common brain tumor in dogs and humans – were treated with a personal vaccine, designed to utilize the dog’s own tumor cells to trigger its immune system. The data suggests that the vaccine is better than either surgery alone, or surgery and radiation, and will hopefully lead to human clinical trials.

 

In another significant breakthrough, reported in the March 2011 issue of the journal Nature Medicine as one of the “most relevant recent discoveries in cancer research,” ABTA-supported research discovered a genetic mutation associated with brain tumors, called IDH1. The mutation presents a springboard for new approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

 

As the first national organization committed to funding brain tumor research, the ABTA has funded generations of researchers, many of whom lead brain tumor programs at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, influence research trends and mentor the next generation of leaders.

 

For brain tumor patients and caregivers, though, a breakthrough can also be something far more immediate and personal – a calm, reassuring voice of an ABTA Care Consultant on our CareLine; a welcome response to an email sent in the middle of a restless night; vital information available online in a time of desperate need. At every step, we assist patients and caregivers to make breakthroughs in their understanding — helping to inform their choices in treatment, care and recovery. The ABTA is the only national organization that provides this invaluable patient and caregiver support.

 

Breakthroughs aren’t the end. Each one has opened pathways to new thinking, better understanding and more effective treatments. Through your generous gift, the American Brain Tumor Association will continue to lead the way in making breakthroughs – both in labs and in lives.

 

We thank you for your generosity.


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