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Research Grants

Stem Cell Approaches to Stimulate Neuro-Regeneration Following Radiation Therapy
Led by Henry Friedman, MD at Duke University Medical Center

Treatment of glioblastoma usually involves aggressive therapy which causes damage to normal brain tissue and leads to neurocognitive dysfunction. Bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSC) hold tremendous promise to enhance neuro-repair.

This study evaluates the therapeutic properties of BMSCs in mice. If successful, the researchers anticipate preliminary phase I experiments in glioma patients within two years.

Friedman has recently joined VABC’s Medical Advisory Board.

“VABC is a terrific organization that is developing more effective strategies for treating brain tumors. Their financial support is helping us with a project that may reverse the damage seen in patients treated for a primary brain tumor. I am honored to be receiving the 2010 Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award at this year’s event.”

–Henry S. Friedman, MD



Update, May 2010

From Henry Friedman, lead researcher:

“Our anticipated clinical trial is a great accomplishment which will directly help enrolled patients as well as allowing us to take a step closer to increasing the quality of life of brain cancer patients and brain cancer survivors.

“Throughout this project, we have conducted hypothesis driven experiments based on the principles described in this grant. With a focus on translational research, we conducted experiments that mimic and answer questions that would affect clinical protocols. We have completed an IND to conduct a Phase I trial to determine the safety and feasibility of using ALDHbright cells in surgically resected GBM patients.

“We’ve conducted localization experiments to determine if ALDHbright cells migrate intracranially after whole brain irradiation. In this first experiment, we found that BMSCs did not localize to the brain. On the contrary, we found an increase in neurogenic markers and a concurrent decrease in inflammation in mice that received ALDHbright cells after irradiation. We learned that although there may not be a direct effect of BMSC intracranially, they likely mediate neuro-repair via a systemic mechanism.”

Click here for a full list of research grants funded by Voices Against Brain Cancer.


Voices Against Brain Cancer is a not-for-profit public charity recognized by the IRS under 501 (c) (3)