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New Research Grant Awarded by the Grey Ribbon Crusade!

7/9/2009 - A grant in the amount of $40,000 was awarded to Dr Maryam Rahman, MD, Dept of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, for the project titled: "Bone Morphogenetic Protein + Avastin  in the Treatment of Glial Tumors". This grant was funded by members of the Grey Ribbon Crusade: Unlocking Brain Tumors and the Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc.

The Grey Ribbon Crusade is an organization of over 50 nonprofit brain tumor organizations, as well as over 250  interested individuals from all 50 states, working together to fund research, create educational materials, advocate and raise awareness for brain tumors.

Project Summary:

Bevacizumab, (Avastin) a human antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), has shown promising results in treating human malignant glioma. Specifically, bevacizumab blocks the ability of tumor cells to create robust vasculature. By decreasing the blood supply to the tumor, this drug has demonstrated decreased imaging abnormalities, decreased need for steroids for patients, and increased progression free survival (PFS). Despite these promising results, concern exits that bevacizumab induces malignant glioma cells to co-opt normal cerebral blood vessels resulting in diffuse tumor infiltration along the blood vessels of the brain. This phenomenon may be prevented by blocking the proliferative capacity of tumor initiating cells (TICs). Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) causes precursor cells to terminally differentiate, thereby decreasing their proliferative capabilities. We are studying BMP 4 as a complementary therapy with bevacizumab to decrease diffuse infiltration of malignant glioma in a xenograft mouse model. We will compare the effects on tumor invasion and animal survival between no treatment, bevacizumab alone, BMP 4 alone and combination bevacizumab/BMP 4.