This year, we are once again walking in honor of Peter Smith, who passed away on May 24th 2017 due to complications from a brain tumor, only weeks after being diagnosed. Annie's uncle's passing is a tragic reminder of why we walk and support the NBTS. We are all so lucky to have known Pete, and will always remember him. Additionally, we were so fortunate to have him march with us during the 2016 walk.
You all know why we are fighting for this cause by now, but let me explain why this year, our 7th year participating in the walk, fundraising is so important.
First, the facts:
- Brain Tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and adolescents 19 and under.
- There are approximately 140 different types of brain tumors
- Only 5 DRUGS and 1 DEVICE exist to treat these different tumor types
- Malignant brain tumors can also be considered equal parts cancer and NEUROLOGICAL DISEASE.
- An estimated 87,000 PEOPLE will be diagnosed in the US with a brain tumor this year.
- Brain Tumor research is the MOST UNDERFUNDED cancer today.
- All funds raised through our events allow the National Brain Tumor Society to advance research and public policy to improve the availability of new and better treatments, and fuel the discovery of a cure for brain tumors
Living with an incurable brain tumor is scary. Once all the available treatment options are exhausted, there is not much one can do. I spend hours upon hours reading about clinical trials, checking back every few months to learn of any progress, if any. The prognosis of high grade brain tumors isn't good; the median survival time is 2-3 years. This is why speeding up the FDA approval process of clinical trials is paramount.
We support the NBTS for this reason, and the programs that they fund. Recently, the NBTS has developed the Clinical Trials Endpoints Inititiative (http://braintumor.org/advance-research/integrated-initiatives/clinical-trial-endpoints/), which is advocating the FDA to approve trials based on other metric's besides "overall survival", which it already has authority to do but rarely uses (such as quality of life improvement). Since this initiative was launched, the NBTS has introduced the Jumpstarting Brain Tumor Drug Development Coalition (http://blog.braintumor.org/introducing-jumpstarting-brain-tumor-drug-development-coalition/). This coalition combines some of the leading philanthropic brain tumor organizations, the Society of Neuro Oncology, clinicians, researchers, biopharma, patient advocates and the FDA. By bringing together these groups that are the most critical in drug development, the coalition primarily aims to "...achieve the most favorable clinical trials process possible for determining if new treatments are both safe and effective for brain tumor patients." This will create a more streamlined regulatory approval process and "...further biotech and pharmaceutical investment into brain tumor drug development will be incentivized and early stage treatments showing promise will stand a greater chance of accelerated approval thereby opening a new pipeline for treatments that can help patients."
For more on the NBTS impact, check out (http://braintumor.org/our-impact/)
Please donate, and help those living with brain tumors and those who will be diagnosed in the future, continue to hope for a better tomorrow.
Adam, Annie, and Benjamin
Please note: If you are interested in donating to this team, please select a member of the team and select the donation option from his/her page or make a general team donation.
NBTS is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. NBTS aggressively drives strategic research; advocates for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community; and provides comprehensive patient, family, and caregiver resources.
Your support ensures this important work will continue.
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