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Glioblastomas and Cancer Facts:

  • Nearly half of the tumors that originate in the brains of adults are a type known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) ~ a highly malignant, fast growing cancer that aggressively infiltrates surrounding brain tissue. Even with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, GBM is usually fatal within about a year.

  • According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 18,500 people will be diagnosed with brain tumors and other nervous system cancers this year, and nearly 13,000 will die.  Brain tumors account for 85 to 90 percent of all primary central nervous system tumors.

  • Cancer is the number two killer behind heart disease. 560,000 people will die of cancer and 1,382,400 new cases will be diagnosed this year.

  • Of the primary sites of cancer, brain tumors rank 9th in women and 11th in men.

  • GBM tumors are graded from low grade (Grade I) to high grage (Grade IV).  High-grade tumors have cells that are more abnormal, grow faster, and are more malignant than low-grade tumors.

Dr. Mark Israel

Norris Cotton Cancer Center:

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of a select number of premier cancer centers  nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institution's designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for excellence in research, patient care and community outreach.

In 2003, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center expanded into a new 130,000 square foot cancer care and research facility at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  Today it is one of the country's most technologically advanced cancer research centers.

It involves more than 130 laboratory research teams and 150 clinicians, clinical research assoicates, and patient support professionals in integrating research and patient care to address all types of cancer.

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center offers more than 160 clinical trails designed to test new therapies, and many of them have been developed by Cencer Center investigators.

Glioblastoma Research:

Norris Cotton Cancer Center is testing a new immunological approach to treating the most common from of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme.  Glioblastoma multiforme is a highly malignant fast-growing cancer of the brain cells, for which there is no curative treatment available.

Mark Israel, MD, Norris Cotton Cancer Center Director, is using genomic strategies to analyse the make-up of brain tumors.

Dr. Israel's lab collaborates with neuro-pathologist Brent Harris, MD,PhD, who is an expert in "tissue array" technology.  Tissue arrays combine many biopsies on a single microscope slide, allowing various tests and comparisions on a large number of tissue samples to be evaluated simultaneously.

Dr. Israel and Dr. Harris are combining these data with treatment and outcomes information from neuro-oncologist Camilo Fadul, MD.  Together they hope to detail more precisely how brain tumors develop and to identify the best targets for more effective treatments.

Created by Karla J. Nelson, Director.
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