SEATTLE – Oct. 18, 2013 – More than 2,800 patients, survivors, family members and supporters participated in the 6th annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk on Sept. 21, which raised more than $485,000 for medical research, clinical trials, advocacy and comprehensive care for brain cancer patients in the Pacific Northwest.
The Walk is one of the largest fundraisers of its kind, bringing the community together to celebrate and support those who have been impacted by brain cancer. Founded in 2008 by Greg Foltz, M.D., and a group of committed volunteers and families, the Walk has raised $2.9 million to fund critical research projects and to keep hope alive for the brain cancer community.
The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment (Ivy Center) at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute is committed to translating the results of its research into effective treatment options for patients. Much of the work conducted at the Ivy Center is funded through the Walk. When combined with research support from The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation and other gifts from the community, the Ivy Center has become one of the leading clinical and translational research centers in the country focusing on finding better treatments for brain cancer.
“This Walk has become a source of inspiration and hope for our fight against brain cancer. I am humbled to be a part of it,” said Charles Cobbs, M.D., director of the Ivy Center. “The money raised at the Walk each year helps provide the necessary support to ignite and fuel research within our brain cancer center’s research lab.”
Clinical trial funds raised at this year’s Walk will seed the ground for future research. In the coming weeks, the Ivy Center plans to focus on advancing research around a commonly used antiviral drug known as valganciclovir (Valcyte) as a new treatment option for patients. A preliminary study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month showed that the drug may extend the life of those inflicted with brain cancer (as much as double the life expectancy of glioblastoma patients). This significant breakthrough was a direct result of the pioneering work of Dr. Cobbs’ research team in establishing that brain tumors may be caused by a common virus called cytomegalovirus. Further financial support from the community will be needed to implement a definitive clinical trial.
Other studies funded by the Walk have examined stem cells in tumors removed from brain cancer patients and the use of Temozolomide (TMZ) for the treatment of newly diagnosed patients with glioblastoma tumors.
Gifts and donations will continue to be collected at www.braincancerwalk.org through the end of year.
About the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk
Founded in 2008 by a group of committed volunteers, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk is the area’s only fundraising walk that builds awareness, support and money to advance a search for new brain cancer treatment options. The Walk raises money that will be distributed to the Pacific Northwest region’s most promising brain cancer research projects, including The Ben& Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. The Walk provides a powerful day of support and hope to the 1,200 people in the Pacific Northwest battling brain cancer and the people who love them. For more information, visit www.braincancerwalk.org.
About The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment
Opened in 2008, The Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment gives brain-tumor patients and their family’s access to a unique multidisciplinary team of skilled neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and a specialized nursing staff to deliver coordinated care and innovative treatments for both benign and malignant brain tumors. The Ivy Center’s unique design places its world-class research facility directly adjacent to the outpatient clinic, providing patients with immediate access to promising new therapies. As part of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute located in Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill Campus, the Ivy Center is the first brain tumor-specific, community-based facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and is providing new hope for patients with all stages of brain tumors, including brain cancer. The Ivy Center was created through a grant from The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. (www.IvyFoundation.org).