Summer 2019 Fundraising Campaign
In lieu of a golf tournament this year, we are running a Summer 2019 Fundraising Campaign to support a novel research study (see below) at the Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Our goal is to raise $50,000 this summer to help initiate this study.
Your generosity will make this research possible!
UPDATE: we exceeded our goal!
“Liquid Biopsy” Research Study
A major challenge in performing meaningful clinical research for spinal cord tumors is their rarity. In our first detailed molecular analysis of spinal cord gliomas, we brought together investigators from multiple institutions across North America, pooled our patient experiences and resources, and provided the first characterization of these tumors using modern techniques. Now we hope to improve the ability to diagnose these tumors, to understand their molecular features, and to follow responses to therapy – all without ever touching the spinal cord, which we know is extremely risky.
Mass General Cancer Center and Mass General Neurosurgery are leaders in the field of “liquid biopsy,” which uses different molecular technologies to diagnose and follow the treatment response of tumors by sampling body fluids, including blood and cerebrospinal fluid. We have a track record of looking for circulating tumor cells, free DNA, and exosomes (fragments of tumor cells that are released from the tumors themselves), and we now aim to, again, put together a collaborating group of researchers and institutions to pool tumor samples, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid to determine whether or not these novel findings can be applied to spinal cord tumors. This would change the game for diagnosis of spinal cord disease and be a huge advance for these patients.
William T. Curry, Jr, MD
Co-Director, MassGeneral Neuroscience
Director of Neurosurgical Oncology, Mass General Cancer Center
Professor of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School