Seattle Brain Cancer Walk Raises $930,000 for Cancer Research and Patients

Seattle Brain Cancer Walk Raises $930,000 for Cancer Research and Patients

SEATTLE, Sept. 27, 2011 – More than 2,000 eager supporters gathered at the Seattle Center on Sept. 24 to participate in the fourth-annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk. Thanks to this year’s walkers and a current donor to The Ben & Catherine Ivy Brain Tumor Center (Ivy Center) at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, who made an anonymous $500,000 Challenge Gift to the Walk, a record $930,000 in donations has been collected.

Thanks to the Challenge Gift, the Walk has the potential to raise more than $1 million for the first time ever. The Challenge Gift will be available to match all gifts made in support of the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk through Dec. 31, 2011. Supporters can still make a donation by visiting www.braincancerwalk.org.  

The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk is one of the largest and longest running participatory brain cancer walks in Seattle that helps build awareness, support and money to advance a search for new brain cancer treatment. Proceeds have supported the Pacific Northwest region’s most promising brain cancer research projects, including work currently being conducted at the Ivy Center, Institute for Systems Biology and Accium BioSciences. It also supports programs and services that benefit brain cancer patients, including clinical trials, advocacy programs, and comprehensive patient care and support services in the Pacific Northwest.

“The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk provides a powerful day of support and hope to people in the Pacific Northwest who are battling brain cancer and the people who love them,” said Dr. Greg Foltz, neurosurgeon with the Swedish Neuroscience Institute and director of the Ivy Center. “For every dollar raised at these walks, another nine dollars have been secured from other grant sources. This makes the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk the main driver for brain cancer research and new treatments in the Pacific Northwest. Each year we are amazed by the effort our community makes to support the program.”

In the past, donations from previous brain cancer walks have been used to fund a variety of research projects, including a study that explores stem cells in tumors removed from brain cancer patients at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. About $120,000 from the 2009 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk supported this partnership, and the research is promising. The study has received national attention and resulted in a highly competitive $1.1 million federal grant award to study and categorize these cancer stem cells and the vulnerabilities that could lead to new treatment approaches for patients.

The walk has also supported current clinical trials including research on the use of Temozolomide (TMZ). TMZ is a FDA-approved drug for treatment of newly diagnosed patients with Glioblastoma. Funding from the 2008 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk supported the initial research which led to a new FDA-approved clinical trial to measure the amount of TMZ which is active in each patient’s tumor. This work has also received funding from the NIH and is being done in partnership with Accium Biosciences, a Pacific Northwest biotech company.

Founded in 2008 by a group of committed volunteers and families, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk has raised more than $1.7 million for research, clinical trials, advocacy and comprehensive care for brain cancer patients in the Pacific Northwest.

The date for next year’s walk has not yet been confirmed. Details will be posted online as soon as it is determined. For more information, visit www.braincancerwalk.org.

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About the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

Founded in 2008 by a group of committed volunteers, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk is the areas only fundraising walk that builds awareness, support and money to advance a search for new brain cancer treatment options. The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk raises money that will be distributed to the Pacific Northwest region’s most promising brain cancer research projects, including The Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. The Seattle Brain Cancer 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. Since its inception, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk has raised more than $1.7 million for research, clinical trials, advocacy and comprehensive care for brain cancer patients in the Pacific Northwest.

About The Ben and Catherine Ivy Brain Tumor Center

Opened in 2008, the Ivy Brain Tumor Center gives brain-tumor patients and their families 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 Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) outpatient clinic, providing patients with instant access to promising new therapies discovered through gene-sequencing technologies. As part of SNI, which is located on the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus, the Ivy Center is the first community-based brain tumor facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest that enables scientists, researchers, doctors and patients to work collaboratively toward new treatment options for those diagnosed with all stages of brain tumors, including brain cancer.

About the Swedish Neuroscience Institute

In 2004, Swedish expanded its neuroscience services by establishing the Swedish Neuroscience Institute. The team of leading neurosurgeons and other specialists are building a world-class institute dedicated solely to the treatment and advancement of neurological disorders for patients in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The Swedish/Cherry Hill campus is the hub for the Institute and has been upgraded with four state-of-the-art operating rooms with intra-operative MRI and CT scanning, neuro-interventional radiology capabilities, a renovated neuro intensive-care unit, and a radiosurgery center with CyberKnife and Gamma Knife technologies for radiosurgical treatment of tumors throughout the body as well as other neurological diseases and disorders.

About Swedish

Swedish has grown over the last 101 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 11,000 employees, more than 2,800 physicians and 1,700 volunteers. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); freestanding emergency departments and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; Swedish Visiting Nurse Services; and Swedish Medical Group – a network of more than 70 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. Swedish opened a new emergency department and medical office building (MOB) on its Ballard campus in November 2010 and a new MOB and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands in July 2011. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter or www.twitter.com/swedish  

In 2007, Swedish embarked upon an ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign. Campaign investments are used to support a wide-variety of initiatives throughout the health-care system, including cancer, heart and vascular, women and children, neuroscience, and orthopedics as well as programs to support underserved populations. To date, the campaign has secured gifts totaling more than $74 million. For more information or to support the campaign, visit www.campaignforswedish.org

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