Author Archives: brainscience

MicroRNA-10b-mediated Transformation of Neural Stem Cells to Glioblastoma Stem Cells

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Nadiya M. Teplyuk, PhD
Glioblastoma (GBM, or glioma of grade IV) is one of the most common and aggressive brain cancers with poor survival rates even with intensive treatment. Increasing evidence suggests that GBMs derive from glioma initiating cells (so-called cancer stem cells), which originate directly from neural stem cells in the process of malignant transformation. Therefore, targeting GBM initiating cells is important for reducing GBM growth. However, molecular events that lead to the transformation of normal neural progenitors to GBM-initiating stem cells are poorly understood.

Recent discovery of microRNAs, small regulatory RNA molecules, revolutionized the field of cancer biology. Since a single microRNA may control expression of multiple cellular proteins, de-regulation of one or a few microRNAs may lead to aberrant intracellular metabolism and cancer growth. Dr. Teplyuk and her team’s work over the past few years focused on the discovery of microRNAs that contribute to glioma initiation and progression, gathering mounting evidence indicating that microRNAs are essential regulators of GBM growth. The team has recently identified a specific microRNA, miR-10b, not expressed in normal brain cells, including neural stem cells. This same molecule is abundant in tumorigenic glioma-initiating stem cells, suggesting that miR-10b activation is an early event in the origin of a glioma. We found that miR-10b drives glioma cell division and may function as a molecule that promotes GBMs.

This project hypothesizes that induced expression of miR-10b in neural stem cells can cause malignant transformation. As miR-10b is highly specific target for GBM, we anticipate this work will set a background for development of a new therapeuties to use against GBMs.

Pituitary Day 2014

This entry was posted in Events on by .

The Brain Science Foundation, the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and the BWH Pituitary/Neuroendocrine Center are pleased to present Pituitary Day 2014. This program will take place on Saturday, March 29, 2014, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Bornstein Amphitheater at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Pituitary Day unites patients, caregivers, family, and friends with leading clinicians, researchers, nurses and other experts to discuss the latest in pituitary diagnosis and treatment. By way of a series of presentations and panel discussions, we will discuss basic and new information related to pituitary disorders, including physical and psychological aspects, and other important patient issues.

Our expectation is for this to be a truly remarkable and empowering experience and we hope you will consider joining us this year. For more information, please contact Sarah Donnelly at 617-852-5230 or sarah@brainsciencefoundation.org.

Identification of microRNA Critical for Meningioma Progression

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Erik Uhlmann, MDAnna Krichevsky, PhD

This project investigates key microRNA targets for possible meningioma treatments. The high prevalence of meningioma translates to high burden of disease with significant impact on quality of life. Initial treatment may consist of surgery, if technically feasible and medically tolerated. However, surgery alone rarelyremoves all tumor tissue, owing to its extension along the meninges. For patients with recurrent disease, or at high risk of recurrence, there is a need for targeted medical therapy, presently unavailable. This team hypothesizes that microRNAs are critical growth regulators of meningioma cells, and altered microRNA expression in a specific pattern is a key step in meningioma progression. They propose to determine the microRNA expression profiles of grade I and grade II meningiomas, and to identify the differentially expressed microRNAs. These candidate microRNAs will then be tested for their effect on cell growth and meningioma formation. Simply, microRNAs may be effective therapeutic targets for the treatment of meningiomas.

Robotically Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Anterior Skull Base

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Joseph Madsen, MD

There are currently many robotic surgery technologies in existence, but none for use in the brain. For many brain surgery procedures, endoscopic surgery techniques have greatly improved patient outcomes. This project takes the concepts of endoscopic surgery and goes even smaller—using devices to enter the brain and treat tumors with minimal invasion. This project asks the question “why is brain surgery so invasive?” and attempts to find a solution through the design and development of robotic surgery techniques to treat brain tumors. Dr. Madsen and his team have several years of experience exploring this very process and will use this project to apply new advances in robotic surgery to the brain.

Characterization of Genetic Changes Associated with Meningioma Progression

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD; Ian Dunn, MD

Surgery is frequently insufficient for people with grade II–III meningioma tumors. For these people, no effective medical therapies exist. As part of a previous BSF funded study, this team examined several meningioma genomes, finding multiple genetic events, copy-number changes, and mutations with immediate clinical implications. Their study also showed that grade II and III tumors may be completely different diseases from grade I meningiomas. This project hypothesizes that genes found to be mutated in grade I meningiomas are also mutated in higher-grade meningiomas alongside mutations in additional genes. The team will perform whole-exome sequencing of 12 grade II and III meningiomas. They will then identify mutations affecting all genes in these tumors. Secondly, they willtest the hypothesis that high-grade meningiomas have higher rates of mutation, rearrangements, and copy-number changes genome-wide than grade I tumors. They will perform whole-genome sequencing of at least two grade II–III meningiomas, completely reconstructing these genomes, identifying all mutations and rearrangements both within and between genes. These studies will form a foundation for understanding why grade II–III meningiomas develop and could bring about potential therapeutic targets.

Genes for Radiation-Associated Meningioma

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Elizabeth Claus, MD, PhD

Dr. Claus and her team

The development of meningioma is likely related to both genetic and environmental risk factors. Ionizing radiation (IR) is one of the few consistently identified environmental risk factors for meningioma development. At high dose levels, data exist for atomic bomb survivors as well as for cancer patients who have received radiation to the head, particularly at a young age, and show a greatly increased risk for meningioma. Evidence also exists for lower dose levels including results from our population-based study which suggests that extended exposure to dental x-rays at a young age may be associated with increased risk of meningioma.

With respect to genetic risk factors, there is considerable evidence that a reduced capacity to repair DNA is associated with increased sensitivity to radiation exposure, risk of development of cancer, as well as clinical prognosis after diagnosis with cancer alone or in association with treatment such as radiation therapy. Research indicates that cells in persons with certain variants in these genes, i.e. DNA repair genes, have more difficulty in repairing damage after exposure to IR and thus are at higher risk of tumors such as meningioma.

In Dr. Claus’ new study, “Genes for Radiation-Associated Meningioma,” she and her team hypothesizes that persons with meningioma exposed to prior IR represent a genetically sensitive sub-population of meningioma patients. Over the next two years, we will compare variants in genes thought to repair DNA damage in two groups: persons with meningiomas who were previously exposed to IR, and persons with similar IR exposure but who have not developed meningiomas. If the hypothesis is true then higher rates of certain variants are expected in a select group of DNA repair genes in persons with meningiomas versus those without meningiomas. If successful, findings might be used to identify persons at increased risk for meningiomas as well as persons for whom radiation therapy may be associated with an increased risk of adverse outcome.

2010 Research Status Reports

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

The Brain Science Foundation is proud to support cutting edge research in the neurosciences. In 2010, ten talented physician scientists completed groundbreaking work in the pursuit of a cure. Many of these scientists have been recognized for their work and have received advanced funding, proving that the BSF’s mission to seed novel research is succeeding.
To read more about the outcomes and current status for each of these projects, please download the status reports provided by the principal investigators:

Nathalie Y.R. Agar, PhD
Intraoperative Mass Spectrometry for Personalized Treatment of Brain Tumors
(PDF, 20KB)

Peter Black, MD, PhD & Rona Carroll, PhD
On the Road to a Clinical Trial for Using Gene Therapy for Aggressive Glioblastomas
(PDF, 15KB)

Elizabeth B. Claus, MD, PhD
Genome-Wide Search for Meningioma Genes/Family Study of Meningioma
(PDF, 13KB)

Ian F. Dunn, MD
Comprehensive Identification of Therapeutic Targets in Meningioma
(PDF, 250KB)

Alexandra J. Golby, MD
Semi-automatic Identification of Neurosurgically Important White Matter Tracts using fMRI & DTI Atlas
(PDF, 135KB)

Mark Johnson, MD, PhD
Oncogenomics of Meningioma
(PDF, 10KB)

Albert Kim, MD, PhD
The Role of the CDC20-Anaphase Promoting Complex Signaling Pathway in Cerebellar Granule Cell Precursor Development and Medullablastoma Migration
(PDF, 11KB)

Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD
DNA Repair Mechanisms as Targets for Therapy of Pituitary Adenomas
(PDF, 14KB)

Lata Menon, PhD
Mechanisms Underlying Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cell (MSC) Recruitment and Migration to Human Glioma
(PDF, 22KB)

Patrick Wen, MD
Phase II Meningioma Therapy Trial

Brain Science Foundation Scientists Make Important Breakthrough!

This entry was posted in News on by .

BSF Principal Investigators Priscilla Brastianos, Rameen Beroukhim, Ian Dunn, Peleg Horowitz, and Sandro Santagata have published new findings linking DNA mutations and meningioma, resulting from meningioma gene sequencing. This is particularly significant, as there are already specific drugs in use to target those mutations in other cancers. This discovery has been published by Nature Genetics and written up in the Bloomberg News.

BSF Founder Steven Haley was energized to hear this exciting discovery, saying: “This is truly breakthrough news with five of our PI’s at the forefront! It gives me hope, it provides me further inspiration that we are aligned with the right research and clinical investigators and are funding the right initiatives towards making a difference in treatment options providing hope for better outcomes for those diagnosed with Meningioma!!”

Read the write up
Read the full text
Read the Dana-Farber press release

Neurosurgeons from around the world attend The Master Class: Endoscopic Anterior Skull Base Surgery

This entry was posted in Events on by .

From December 1 – 2, the Brain Science Foundation cosponsored The Master Class: Endoscopic Anterior Skull Base Surgery with Brigham & Women’s Hospital Pituitary Neuroendocrine Center. Led by world-renowned pituitary expert and longtime Brain Science Foundation collaborator Edward R. Laws, Jr., MD, FACS, the course provided the opportunity for surgeons to learn the endoscopic techniques that he and his team at BWH use to treat pituitary tumors.

After a successful course offering in March 2011, Dr. Laws and his team again assembled a world-class group of speakers for the program. Participants learned specialized techniques using the most up to date technology. In addition to didactic lectures on the peri-operative management, surgical anatomy, techniques, and complication management, the course features live operations simulcast from the operating room to the lecture hall, including 3-D displays. Attendees have the opportunity to interact with the surgeons in the operating room throughout the case.

In addition to the 15 registered participants—all working in neurosurgery—more than 20 other associates of the Brigham Department of Neurosurgery and residents attended select elements of the class. Four vendors of cutting-edge endoscopic instruments—Stryker, NICO, VisionSense, and Karl Storz—provided financial support and had displays set up in a separate vendor’s space.

With another successful Master Class under his belt, Dr. Laws will continue his pituitary tumor educational outreach—this time directed to patients. On March 24, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation will cosponsor Pituitary Day 2012. This event unites patients, caregivers, family, and friends with leading clinicians, researchers, nurses and other experts to discuss the latest in pituitary diagnosis and treatment. By way of a series of presentations and panel discussions, we will discuss basic and new information related to pituitary disorders, including physical and psychological aspects, and other important patient issues.

What participants had to say about the Master Class:

“I plan on obtaining and using some of the [instruments] used during the procedures.”

“One of the best courses I have attended—I plan on setting up my operating room and patient positioning differently now.”

“It was beneficial seeing the surgery live and communicating with the surgeon.”

Identifying Drivers of Brain Metastases

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Brain metastasis is a common complication in breast cancer and occurs in up to 30% of patients with metastatic breast cancer. With advances in diagnostic techniques and improved treatments, the incidence of this devasting complication is increasing. Of patients with clinically significant brain metastases, the majority die within months. Unfortunately, clinical trials commonly exclude patients with brain metastases. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis and better treatment approaches are urgently needed.

Cancer arises primarily from the acquisition of alterations in the DNA of cells. Knowledge of these genetic alterations has lead to the identification of new groundbreaking targeted therapies for cancer. Among these are trastuzumab, which targets Her2/neu in HER2+ breast cancer, imatinib which targets bcr-abl in chronic myelogenous leukemia, and PLX4032 which targets BRAF in melanoma. These treatments not only induce significant responses but are much less toxic than traditional chemotherapy. To identify mutations such as these, international efforts to sequence the genomes of many types of cancers are underway. However, most of these efforts do not include metastatic disease despite the devastating clinical impact of this disease.

This study aims to detect the changes in the DNA of metastatic brain tumors in breast cancer. Dr. Brastianos and her team hypothesize that tumors undergo multiple genetic changes that are responsible for brain metastases. Metastasis is a complex multi-step process and these studies will identify mutations responsible for each of these steps. The team will utilize state-of-the-art sequencing technologies at the Broad Institute and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to characterize the genomics of brain metastases from breast cancer. The comprehensive identification of somatic genetic events in brain metastases from breast cancer has the potential to transform our understanding of this disease, and will bring us closer to developing targeted approaches to metastatic disease of the brain from breast cancer.

Thank You to Our 2012 Sponsors

This entry was posted in Events on by .

Dozens rally to support 2012 Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf & Tennis Classic

The Brain Science Foundation is thrilled to acknowledge our many sponsors for this year’s Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf & Tennis Classic! From local shops to international industry leaders, the outpouring of support in the fight against brain tumors is an inspiring link we all share in which we can be proud.

   
 
     
     
     
   
 
   
     
   
     
 Wayne Anderson
Electrical
   Jack Joyce,
Deutsche Bank

Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf & Tennis Classic 2012 Sponsors

This entry was posted in Events on by .

Dozens rally to support 2012 Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf & Tennis Classic

The Brain Science Foundation is thrilled to acknowledge our many sponsors for this year’s Tee It Up for Brain Tumor Research Golf & Tennis Classic! From local shops to international industry leaders, the outpouring of support in the fight against brain tumors is an inspiring link we all share in which we can be proud.

Development of a Natural Viewing Paradigm for fMRI Language Mapping for Brain Tumor Surgery Planning

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Yanmei Tie, PhD

Brain tumor surgery aims to maximize tumor resection (removal); however, it must weigh and minimize the risk of resection-induced neurological deficits. Preventing injury to language areas is especially important as it can lead to potential lifelong language deficits (known as aphasia). This naturally has an enormous impact on quality of life. Mapping out the language function areas in individual patients poses a challenge due to the high complexity and variability of the brain language network location from patient to patient.

As a clinical non-invasive imaging technique, functional MRI is used to identify language areas by measuring blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change while patients perform language tasks (such as generation of antonyms). In short, specific areas of the brain “light up” under MRI when the patient performs basic language tasks.

Although task-based fMRI has been widely used to aid surgical planning, it has shortcomings. First, it requires adequate task performance, which excludes many patients who have difficulty performing language tasks due to neurological deficits (such as aphasia and attention problems). Second, due to the complex language function and patient-specific conditions, a panel of tasks is needed. This requires expertise to design and administer the tasks which are time and cost consuming.

To overcome the limitations of task-based fMRI, Dr. Tie aims to develop a novel fMRI protocol and a corresponding analytic strategy for mapping individual patients’ language areas. This protocol is less demanding, therefore allowing fMRI language mapping for more patients, especially those who cannot perform traditional language tasks. It is also easier for the technologists to administer, and has the potential to provide a comprehensive map of the complex language network, therefore reducing the time and cost of pre-surgical planning. Dr. Tie will collaborate with Dr. Alexandra Golby and Dr. Srinivasan Mukundan, Jr., in the proposed project.

The Role of MicroRNAs Monocyte-Mediated Glioma Pathogenesis

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Galina Gabriely, PhD

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, affecting mainly people of middle age. Current available therapies include surgery and radiotherapy, which is usually given in combination with chemotherapy. Despite these aggressive interventions and extensive knowledge about biology of tumor cells, glioblastoma remains incurable. Interestingly, malignant glioblastoma is highly populated by immune cells, called monocytes. These cells are recruited from the blood and enter glioblastoma in order to eradicate cancer. However, once they reach the brain tumor, monocytes change under the influence of malignant environment, and become unable to eliminate tumor cells. Instead, they support glioblastoma growth by clearing the way for cancer spread in the brain.

Dr. Gabriely’s project proposes to reprogram the monocytes and restore their intrinsic ability to destroy abnormal tumor cells. Her team will use microRNAs—recently discovered master genes—to activate monocytes. Initially, to identify potential microRNA targets, the team will compare their content between normal blood monocytes and glioma-associated monocytes. Then, therapeutic microRNAs will be identified by using a screen system of co-culturing monocytes with glioma cells. Finally, they will validate the therapeutic properties of microRNA modulation in monocytes invading glioma cells in an established mouse glioma model.

Our pioneering approach hold promise to rescue glioblastoma patients by developing a novel previously unexplored way to treat this devastating brain malignancy. Moreover, it will provide the fundamental scientific information about immune cells populating glioma for comprehensive understanding of glioma biology necessary for development of targeted treatments.

Pituitary Day

This entry was posted in Events on by .
Dr. Ed Laws has performed more than 5,000 surgeries on pituitary tumors.

Dr. Ed Laws has performed more than 5,000 surgeries on pituitary tumors.

On March 24, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation and Brigham & Women’s Hospital cosponsored Pituitary Day 2012. More than 100 people—patients, caregivers, family, and friends with leading clinicians, researchers, nurses and other experts—came together to discuss the latest in pituitary diagnosis and treatment.

The all-day event opened with the Brain Science Foundation’s newest Trustee, Costa Sideridis, giving the welcome. “I’m here today because I was once in your shoes as an attendee at this event,” began Mr. Sideridis. “I’ve now been to a few of these and I learn something each time. We’re really blessed to have an organization like the Brain Science Foundation and especially someone like Dr. Laws here to put in the energy and resources to offer this event. I’m honored to have this chance to welcome you and I hope everyone has a great day.” The all-star faculty, led by Dr. Edward Laws, included experts from a number of leading health care institutions, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.

The event covered a wide spectrum of topics—from the prognosis of various pituitary tumors, to surgical treatment and hormonal therapies. A popular session on the psychological aspects of pituitary disease also elicited a great deal of participation from the group. The event emphasized providing patients with information about their disease with ample opportunity for questions from the experienced faculty. “Tremendous day,” one patient noted. “I attended to understand Cushing’s better, but now I understand the whole pituitary system better.”

The Brain Science Foundation is proud to offer educational events aimed at directly benefiting patients, which aligns closely with our mission to improve the knowledge and understanding of primary brain tumors and brain function. With the great success of this day, we hope to offer the program again next year. In the near future, we will be cosponsoring the Master Class in Endoscopic Anterior Skull Base Surgery, a course for neurosurgeons and other health professionals to learn about and witness Dr. Laws’s advanced techniques for operating on pituitary tumors. Dr. Laws noted “I am more convinced than ever that this is a great thing to do for our patients. All of the talks and discussions and arrangements were outstanding.”

The Brain Science Foundation will also host Meningioma Awareness Day on April 27–28 with a similar aim to bring together patients and experts in the field. For more information on Brain Science Foundation events, visit our events page.

Pituitary Day 2012 – Program of Events

Elucidation and Small Molecule Inhibition of Slug-induced Invasion and Metastases in Glioblastoma and Other Cancers

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Dr. Mark Johnson is an established member of the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and an expert on brain tumors. He has already accomplished several highly original investigations into the causes of glioblastoma. In this grant he is studying “transcription factors”—signaling proteins within the cell that turn both genes and proteins on and off and contribute to cancer growth. Specifically, Dr. Johnson has identified the cell regulator SNAI2/Slug (called “slug” by people in the field) that is highly expressed in glioblastomas and has strong circumstantial evidence of participation in continued growth of the tumor.

One exciting element related to this project is that slug-induced invasion can be inhibited by small molecule inhibitors, some of which are currently in clinical trials for other applications. This is an entirely new strategy to decrease the invasion of glioblastoma to adjacent parts of the brain and is likely to have implications for other tumors and metastases.

Dr. Johnson’s work will be done with mouse models of glioblastoma, metastatic melanoma, and metastatic breast cancer. In addition, the proposal will study the way in which glioblastoma cells migrate in a special laboratory dish, observing the effects of the small molecule inhibitors on this migration.

This is focused work on the pathways of brain tumor development never investigated before and has the potential to be developed into a new series of drugs for brain tumors.

Brain Science Foundation’s Successful Meningioma Awareness Day 2012!

This entry was posted in Events on by .

“The Most Enjoyable and Well-Planned MAD Yet!”
—Testimonial from attendee at her fifth Meningioma Awareness Day

On April 27 and 28, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation organized Meningioma Awareness Day: Inform, Interact, Inspire. Aligning with National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May, the BSF designed the event to offer participants a full day of educational presentations, lectures, and opportunities to meet others.

One-on-One: Your Questions Answered held the first night was a big success, with 15 medical experts made available for 150 attendees to ask questions and discuss their conditions. “It was great having the chance to meet one-on-one with surgeons in a relaxed setting, where they could talk about my condition in a more casual setting,” one attendee noted. Later that evening Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin gave a heartfelt talk on succeeding in the face of adversity, while also signing books afterward.

Saturday’s main program provided 200 attendees with a wealth of clinical, research, well being, and personal testimonials concerning meningiomas, from diagnosis to treatment to living life to the fullest.

An initial review of the evaluations showed more than 95% of attendees reporting they were very happy with the event. “I can’t thank you enough for this day,” one attendee shared with us. “Being able to connect with so many others in places just like me was invaluable.”

meningioma-awareness-pic

Meningioma Awareness Day

This entry was posted in Events on by .

“The Most Enjoyable and Well-Planned MAD Yet!”
—Testimonial from attendee at her fifth Meningioma Awareness Day

On April 27 and 28, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation organized Meningioma Awareness Day: Inform, Interact, Inspire. Aligning with National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May, the BSF designed the event to offer participants a full day of educational presentations, lectures, and opportunities to meet others.

One-on-One: Your Questions Answered held the first night was a big success, with 15 medical experts made available for 150 attendees to ask questions and discuss their conditions. “It was great having the chance to meet one-on-one with surgeons in a relaxed setting, where they could talk about my condition in a more casual setting,” one attendee noted. Later that evening Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin gave a heartfelt talk on succeeding in the face of adversity, while also signing books afterward.

Saturday’s main program provided 200 attendees with a wealth of clinical, research, well being, and personal testimonials concerning meningiomas, from diagnosis to treatment to living life to the fullest.

An initial review of the evaluations showed more than 95% of attendees reporting they were very happy with the event. “I can’t thank you enough for this day,” one attendee shared with us. “Being able to connect with so many others in places just like me was invaluable.”

Analysis of microRNA Determinants of Survival in Glioblastoma

This entry was posted in Research Projects on by .

Anna Krichevsky, PhD

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive type of brain malignancy in adults and also accounts for approximately 10% of pediatric central nervous system tumors. The average lifespan of GBM patients is less than one year even with therapeutic interventions and has only minimally improved over the past 25 years. Therefore, there is a critical need for new molecular targets, concepts, and approaches to treat this devastating disease.

The discovery of microRNAs, small regulatory molecules with a great potential to control gene expression, has revolutionized the field of cancer biology. It suggested an entirely new layer of gene regulation that might be involved in progression and maintenance of human cancer. A single microRNA can directly regulate multiple target genes, and thereby control expression of multiple proteins involved in diverse signaling pathways. Over the past seven years, Dr. Krichevsky and her team have focused on microRNAs involved in glioma initiation and progression, and today have mounting evidence indicating that GBM growth and invasiveness are closely regulated by microRNAs.

The team has identified and investigated three specific onco-microRNAs—miR-21, miR-10b, and miR-296—as potent regulators of glioma cell division, tumor resistance to death signals, and glioma-induced angiogenesis. These molecules drive GBM growth. More recently, they predicted several protective microRNAs that may slow-down tumor growth and thus significantly increase patients’ survival. This studies the effects of such molecules on glioma growth in cultured cells and animal models of human GBM. If successful, it may lead to the development of novel microRNA-based therapies for gliomas.

Patients, Caregivers, Doctors, Nurses, and More Come Together for a Successful Pituitary Day 2012

This entry was posted in Events on by .

On March 24, 2012, the Brain Science Foundation and Brigham & Women’s Hospital cosponsored Pituitary Day 2012. More than 100 people—patients, caregivers, family, and friends with leading clinicians, researchers, nurses and other experts—came together to discuss the latest in pituitary diagnosis and treatment.  Click here to view the welcoming remarks from the day, and here to view the days’ program.

The all-day event opened with the Brain Science Foundation’s newest Trustee, Costa Sideridis, giving the welcome. “I’m here today because I was once in your shoes as an attendee at this event,” began Mr. Sideridis. “I’ve now been to a few of these and I learn something each time. We’re really blessed to have an organization like the Brain Science Foundation and especially someone like Dr. Laws here to put in the energy and resources to offer this event. I’m honored to have this chance to welcome you and I hope everyone has a great day.” The all-star faculty, led by Dr. Edward Laws, included experts from a number of leading health care institutions, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.

The event covered a wide spectrum of topics—from the prognosis of various pituitary tumors, to surgical treatment and hormonal therapies. A popular session on the psychological aspects of pituitary disease also elicited a great deal of participation from the group. The event emphasized providing patients with information about their disease with ample opportunity for questions from the experienced faculty. “Tremendous day,” one patient noted. “I attended to understand Cushing’s better, but now I understand the whole pituitary system better.”

The Brain Science Foundation is proud to offer educational events aimed at directly benefiting patients, which aligns closely with our mission to improve the knowledge and understanding of primary brain tumors and brain function. With the great success of this day, we hope to offer the program again next year. In the near future, we will be cosponsoring the Master Class in Endoscopic Anterior Skull Base Surgery, a course for neurosurgeons and other health professionals to learn about and witness Dr. Laws’s advanced techniques for operating on pituitary tumors. Dr. Laws noted “I am more convinced than ever that this is a great thing to do for our patients. All of the talks and discussions and arrangements were outstanding.”