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As Brain Tumor Cases Rise Need for Increased Research and Supportive Services Reaches Critical Level


Posted on: 07/08/2002

As Brain Tumor Cases Rise Need for Increased Research and Supportive Services Reaches Critical Level

OAKLAND, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, over 185,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Brain tumors are now the leading cause of cancer death in children under the age of 20. These two sobering facts coupled with last week's sad news of the death of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s chairman, Dan Case, underscore the need for more and better research into the causes and cures of brain tumors.

"We honor Dan and his aggressive approach to fighting this disease and are sad that the brain tumor community has lost such a powerful advocate," said Stephen Lanctot, Chairman of the non-profit National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF). "Everyday, more people are diagnosed and every day we lose someone precious. It's unfair, and the solution is hopeful -- we need more research," Lanctot said.

Many brain tumor agencies, including the National Brain Tumor Foundation, have funded clinical research for many years, but much more is needed to stop the increase in brain tumor incidence. "The goal of the National Brain Tumor Foundation is to close its doors forever because a cure for brain tumors has been found, but that day is sadly too far off," says Jan McCormack, President of NBTF. "In the meantime, how many more people will continue to be affected by brain tumors?" McCormack said.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) recently convened a blue ribbon panel of researchers and advocates to assess the status of federal brain tumor research and draft a plan for strengthening brain tumor research. This group, known as the Brain Tumor Progress Review Group, proposed several initiatives aimed at translating crucial basic science findings into better treatments. The Brain Tumor Progress Review Group report represents the best wisdom of top U.S. researchers and is a solid outline for improving brain tumor research.

Unfortunately, the NCI and NINDS have made only limited progress in putting the brain tumor research plan into action. "We feel strongly that this process should be accelerated. Research is the best hope we can give brain tumor survivors and their families and we call upon members of Congress to support funding of the Brain Tumor Progress Review Group plan," says McCormack.

The non-profit National Brain Tumor Foundation was formed in 1981 to provide support and education to brain tumor patients, their families and caregivers. NBTF has grown to give help and give hope to thousands of patients each year through conferences, informative publications, 160 national support groups, caregiver training, comprehensive medical information through the Web (http://www.braintumor.org), a medical advice nurse and funding of over $2 million in scientific research grants. The Foundation staffs a patient support line at 800-934-2873.


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