SEATTLE – March 10, 2010 – Greg Foltz, M.D., director of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Treatment at Swedish Medical Center, has published a major eight-page feature article in the March/April 2010 issue of the scientific journal Scientific American MIND titled 'New Hope for Battling Brain Cancer.' The article, which can be purchased online here, is a comprehensive overview of the various brain cancer studies and research that suggest stem cells sustain deadly tumors in the brain -- and that aiming at these dangerous culprits could lead to a brain cancer cure.
In the article, Dr. Foltz talks about drugs that may be already on pharmacy shelves that could potentially help us find a solution to some of the more complex problems that brain cancer provides. Recent research suggests that drugs to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia can also kill cancer stem cells in the brain.
Additionally, Dr. Foltz shares insight into his research at the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, including the Ivy Glioblastoma Atlas Project in partnership with the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen’s Institute for Brain Science and Swedish Medical Center.
More than 25,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant glioma every year. About 60 percent to 70 percent of these cancers occur in the deadliest form, glioblastoma -- the type that took the life of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy in August 2009, 15 months after he was diagnosed.
Although medical science has made significant progress in treating several other cancers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only three new drugs that treat brain cancer in the past 35 years, and these prolong lives by only a few months. The life expectancy of a person diagnosed with glioblastoma remains 12 to 14 months, roughly the same as it was a century ago.
Background on Greg Foltz, M.D.
Dr. Foltz is director of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, Wash. Dr. Foltz has forged a coalition with local research centers and biotech firms in an attempt to cure brain cancer. The coalition works to apply cutting-edge tools to the treatment of patients and work toward better ways to fight the disease with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.
Often called upon by the top news reporters in the science community and neuroscience field, Dr. Foltz is a noted expert on various brain cancer issues and topics. He has been quoted in news stories by TIME, Science magazine and PBS News Hour, among others.
Seattle Brain Cancer Walk
Additionally, Dr. Foltz has helped his patients organize and formulate a major annual fund-raising event to support advocacy, research, clinical trials, and comprehensive patient care in the Pacific Northwest -- the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. Hosted by Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure this year's walk will be held June 26, 2010 at Seattle Center. All donations to the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk supports life-changing funding for research projects, clinical trials, patient care and advocacy that are focused on advancing research and finding a cure for brain cancer. For more information, visit www.braincancerwalk.org.
Key Brain Cancer Facts
- Brain cancer remains the most malignant form of cancer known to humankind, rapidly progressive and uniformly fatal, despite treatments ranging from surgery to radiation to chemotherapy.
- Brain cancer survival rates have not changed over the past 100 years. Additionally, there are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, which make effective treatment complicated.
- Today, funding for brain cancer research is extremely limited -- only three new treatments for brain tumors have been approved in the past 25 years; the third, Avastin, was approved by the FDA last year.
- Each year more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary (cancer cells specific to the brain only) or metastatic (cancer cells that have spread to the brain from another part of the body) brain tumor. Primary brain tumors comprise approximately 40,000 of these diagnoses.