2014 to Current
- Understanding radiation sensitivity through genetic analysis in Glioblastoma and Central Nervous System Cancers:
When a cancer patient receives radiation as part of treatment, there can be significant effects upon their quality of life. This study is based on using genetic analysis to understand the relationship of radiation and possible genetic factors that could influence outcomes. Better understanding of the genetic factors that lead to patients being more or less sensitive to radiation will help improve treatment and thus the quality of life for the patients. The effects of radiation can lead to a decline in mental abilities and thus understanding possible genetic factors can help the medical team create a personalized cancer therapy to improve the quality of life, especially in brain tumor patients.
- Principle Investigator: Erik P. Sulman, M.D., Ph.D., The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
2011 to 2013
- Phase I/II study of reirradiation of recurrent or progressive brainstem glioma:
This study investigates the use of re-irradiation in the highly aggressive form of cancer known as brainstem glioma. This Phase I/II study will be conducted to evaluate the safety of re-irradiation with higher doses. The main goal of treatment will be to improve symptoms and quality of life. This protocol may identify the optimal dose of re-irradiation and define the efficacy, particularly regarding quality of life, therefore offering a treatment option for patients with an incurable disease.
- Principal Investigator: Anita Mahajan, M.D.
- In 2010, 100% of the funds raised were donated to MD Anderson to assist in leading the largest genetic study ever attempted. Dr. Melissa Bondy is the Lead Investigator on The Gliogene Study, a worldwide study looking at inherited brain tumors. This study will recruit over 6000 glioma patients and controls in hope of identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for glioma.
- In 2009, donation efforts were awarded to Laura Worth, M.D., Ph.D., medical director in Pediatric Stem Cell Therapy and the principal investigator on the Stem Cell Transplant Exercise Protocol. The $10,000 donation will help fund the purchase of child-friendly exercise equipment for patients in the study (such as dance mats, Nintendo Wii video game systems and stationary bicycles that integrate with video games) that can remain in patients' rooms during their isolation and raise their spirits while promoting physical activity. In this way, exercise-disguised as play time-will enrich the lives of sick children who cannot go outside or see friends.
- In 2008, all donations raised by RFTC were used funded Dr. Joya Chandra’s late effects study in childhood survivors. Through the MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital this study is based on trying to develop ways to keep children's hearts healthy while they receive chemo. The research was in its early stages, and all of the financial support served as seed money to further develop the program and position this study to apply for federal funding from NIH.