Investing in early and mid-career researchers and engaging with biotech companies; our mission is to accelerate the development of new therapies for brain cancer. This Brain Cancer Awareness month, journey with our CEO, Lance Kawaguchi as he meets with the best minds in brain cancer research in the United States to collaborate globally and drive to find a cure for brain cancer. Read the next installment of the CEO Diaries below!
I have been incredibly lucky throughout my trip to the US for Brain Cancer Awareness Month (May), to meet with some of the most pre-eminent and exciting names in brain cancer research, globally.
Today I have had the honour of going to Harvard to meet with Professor Patrick Wen, who joined the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee 15 months ago, and who is highly respected for his expertise in neuro-oncology. Prof Wen is the Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. Prof Wen’s research primarily focuses on novel treatments for brain tumours and he has established a large number of clinical trials focused on the development of novel targeted molecular therapies.
Together, we discussed what’s new and exciting in brain cancer research, the importance of uniting the brightest minds to find a cure, and the effectiveness of the Foundation’s funding through programs like the Early Career Fellowship, Mid-Career Fellowship and Clinical Accelerator.
Lance: As it’s Brain Cancer Awareness Month, what’s up and coming in brain cancer that excites you?
Patrick: I think in the last 10 years, we've learned a tremendous amount about the biology of tumors. Hopefully we can take that information and leverage it into much better treatments for brain cancer patients.
The world's brightest minds are united in their mission to defeat brain cancer. From industry leaders to top researchers, we are all on the same team. We want to thank our community for always supporting us. We also want to thank all the researchers, scientists, and companies for all their dedication, compassion, and support.
Lance: The Foundation is very proud of funding an Early Career Fellowship and is in the middle of funding a Mid-Career Fellowship as well as the world's largest Clinical Accelerator for brain cancer. Can you talk a little bit about why it's so important to help young researchers and the pre-clinical and phase one biotech companies?
Patrick: Research in brain cancer is challenging, and even more so when you are trying to fund long-term projects. I think encouraging promising people into this field is huge. It's still a very small area and we need to have developed talent in the field. I also think a huge area of need is early-stage drug development. Learning whether these drugs get past the blood-brain barrier and into the tumour. Essentially, screening out drugs that are not useful and finding the drugs that are helpful to bring them on board for clinical trials. It’s an area of need and so CBCF has done a great job in encouraging researchers and helping develop effective drugs.
Lance: You've been part our Scientific Advisory Committee for about 15 months now. What are your observations during this time?
Patrick: The transformation of the organization in contributing to the field as well as prioritizing treatment for patients. It’s amazing how this has been achieved in such a short time. We’re so grateful and can’t thank you enough!
As I reflect on my conversations with Prof Wen, I remember my experience and learnings from the investment banking world. Supporting innovations and risk-taking is essential for enterprise building. At Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, we are doing just that. Supporting researchers, investing in translational research, and backing biotech companies, all to accelerate treatments for brain cancer and improve survival and quality of life.
By Lance Kawaguchi
Watch this space to follow Lance’s travel in the United States as he meets prominent brain cancer researchers, academics, organisations, and seeks out new collaborations to benefit the brain cancer community and drive awareness for the cause during Brain Cancer Awareness Month.
We are incredibly grateful to CT Partners, Bay Travel, and Alan and Jackie Wolf for generously sponsoring the costs of this trip to enable us to foster these meaningful and necessary collaborations.