New Brain Cancer Center Opens In Phoenix

Published: Monday, September 10, 2018 - 5:27pm
(Photo courtesy of Twitter)

A new brain cancer center in Phoenix will be able to test more experimental treatments faster.

The Ivy Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute will target deadly brain cancers like the one that took the life of U.S. Sen. John McCain.

A record grant of $50 million will fund the new center, housed at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Doctors there will give patients experimental drugs before surgery. During surgery, they will take samples to test whether the drugs reached the tumor and had any effect. Results are expected within days.

“We can then test many new drug combinations over a short window of time, whereas traditionally, clinical trials [take] years just for an individual trial,” said Dr. Nader Sanai, the Ivy Center’s director.

McCain died last month of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma. Typically, patients diagnosed with that disease live fewer than five years.

Sanai said one reason glioblastoma is hard to treat is because different parts of the tumor have different genetic makeups.

“What we’re now realizing is that glioblastoma, just like, for example, HIV or AIDS, really will need multiple therapies simultaneously,” he said. “So our trials will focus almost exclusively on two and three-drug combinations, which is something that’s never been done before.”

The center is being funded by the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation in Scottsdale. Ben Ivy died from glioblastoma in 2005.

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