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Translational Research Program (TRP)
Last Updated: 09/23/16

Brain SPOREs

It is estimated that in 2016 there will be 23,770 new cases of cancer of the brain and nervous system and 16,050 deaths in the United States. Five-year survival rates are at 34%. Conventional cytotoxic agents have provided little benefit for brain cancer patients and brain cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality have not changed significantly in 20 years. The Brain Cancer SPORE program was initiated in 2002. In 2016, the five brain SPORE teams are making significant progress in the development of unique approaches for diagnosis and treatment including exploring chromosomal and genetic variants associated with overall survival as well as exploring predictive and prognostic markers. Non-invasive brain imaging studies are being developed for diagnostic utility and discovery of biomarkers of malignant transformation. Translational projects are targeting signaling pathways such as IDH, PI3K, STAT3, p53, apoptosis and BRAFV600E (for pediatric brain cancers) as well as exploring the tumor microenvironment and inhibition of angiogenesis to understand the disease processes and develop clinical treatments. Various SPORE teams are finding preliminary promising results using immunotherapies including oncolytic viral therapies with genetically engineered poliovirus, measles, modified adenoviruses or herpes simplex viruses. Other studies in immunotherapy include single target vaccines (mutated IDH1), or multipeptide glioma vaccine or an EGFRvIII-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). This highly collaborative group works together to share ideas, results, data, resources, and clinical populations.

Duke University Medical Center

John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA [Click Here]
Dr. Robert H. Wilkins and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery
Chief, Division of Neurosurgery

Francis Ali-Osman, DSc
Professor of Surgery
Professor in Pathology

Duke University Medical Center
Division of Neurosurgery
DUMC 3050
303 Research Drive, 220 Sands Bldg
Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-9041
Fax: (919) 684-9045

Massachusetts General Hospital

Tracy T. Batchelor, M.D., MPH [Click Here]
Center for Neuro-Oncology
Mailstop: Yawkey Center 9E
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 724-8770
Fax: (617) 724-8769

Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Brian Patrick O'Neill, MD [Click Here]
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
200 First Street Southwest
Rochester, MN 55905
Tel: (507) 538-7275
Fax: (507) 284-4074

For more information on this specific SPORE’s institution, please visit: and Mayo Clinic SPORE in Brain Cancer (PDF)

University of California, San Francisco

Mitchel S. Berger, MD [Click Here]
University of California, San Francisco
Department of Neurological Surgery
505 Parnassus Avenue, Room M-786
San Francisco, California 94143
Tel: (415) 353-3933
Fax: (415) 353-3910

For more information on this specific SPORE’s institution, please visit:

University of Texas/MD Anderson

Frederick F. Lang, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.N.S. [Click Here]
Department of Neurosurgery
1400 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 442
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (713) 792-2400
Fax: (713) 794-4950

For more information on this specific SPORE’s institution, please visit: