Announcements | Press Release

Eight Philanthropic Organizations United Against Brain Cancer Announce New Funding Opportunity

Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative Aims to Spur Development of Non-Invasive Response Markers for Human Gliomas

April 2, 2009/ Today, the eight North American private funding organizations comprising the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative announced a new funding initiative aimed at accelerating development of non- or minimally- invasive methods for monitoring if, when, and how human brain tumors are responding to investigational therapies. This represents the second round of funding offered by a unique collaborative funding effort representing private foundations and patient advocacy groups. The BTFC inaugurated its funding program in 2005, awarding grants to three multi-institutional, collaborative research projects. The BTFC’s primary goal is bridging the “translational gap” that can prevent promising laboratory findings from yielding new medical treatments. Information about BTFC is available at

The eight members of the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative (BTFC) are: the American Brain Tumor Association, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Ivy Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the National Brain Tumor Society, and the Sontag Foundation. The Ivy Foundation, established in 2007 joined the BTFC in 2008. The National Brain Tumor Society is a new organization resulting from the 2008 merger of the Brain Tumor Society and the National Brain Tumor Association.

Despite the dedicated and heroic efforts of researchers, clinicians, patients, and families, altering the devastating outcome for individuals diagnosed with aggressive brain tumors has remained elusive. For most patients the tumors will be lethal. Recently, however, research progress in genomics together with a better understanding of brain tumor heterogeneity and new approaches to clinical trials has fueled renewed hope among the brain cancer community. Prior to announcing this new call for proposals the BTFC spent two years surveying the brain tumor research landscape seeking opportunities where private funding could accelerate progress. The BTFC investigations identified the need for response markers as critical to the ongoing development of interventions and to the design and execution of small scale, “smart” clinical trials designed to quickly access efficacy of treatments. Recently, there has been a groundswell of interest among the policy, research, and clinical communities to identify biomarkers for use in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers. The BTFC hopes its funding will help ensure that brain cancer patients are likely beneficiaries of new technological advances.

The BTFC will receive and review proposals during the summer and award the grants during the early fall of 2009. Details are available at


American Brain Tumor Association – Elizabeth Wilson – 847.827.9910 x 20
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada – Susan Marshall – 519.642.7755 x 222
Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation – Joe Fay – 212.448.9494
Goldhirsh Foundation – Rita Berkson – 203.488.2697
Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation – Rob Tufel 650.833.9070
James S. McDonnell Foundation – Susan Fitzpatrick 314.721.1532 x 112
National Brain Tumor Society – David R. Hurwitz 617.924.9997 x 1510
Sontag Foundation – Kay Verble – 904.273.8755