Neoplasia Research Group

Translational and Personalized Neuro-Oncology: Accelerating Discovery and Personalized Treatment Strategies for Brain Cancers

The Challenge

Brain Cancers are considered “orphan” diseases and occur in all ages from infants to the elderly. Several types have increased over the past decade and will continue to cause increasing disease and death in cancer patients.

  • Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males under 40 and females under 20.
  • San Diego County suffers from a paucity of resources to care for patients with brain tumors.
  • Limited therapeutic options (clinical trials) and knowledge force many San Diegans to travel from clinic to clinic within the county, and from center to center outside the county, in hopes of finding a cure for their brain tumor.

The Innovation

UC San Diego offers the region’s most comprehensive brain tumor treatment program and is ideally suited, along with sister institutions in San Diego County, to translate basic science findings to the clinic through a proposed integrated Brain Tumor Research Institute (BTRI).

With the explosion of cancer genetics and the development of targeted small molecular therapies, the BTRI will be poised to develop personalized therapies for patients.

The BTRI can offer hope for brain tumor patients by integrating clinical and research approaches to:

  • Understand the biology of brain cancers in humans
  • Develop novel, personalized clinical trials based on bot prognostic and predictive biomarkers and laboratory discoveries
  • Develop novel drugs for brain cancer patients
  • Create the best possible outcome for patients

With this approach we can accelerate our understanding and treatment of brain cancers by collecting patient specimens and data, and leveraging UCSD’s basic and translational science expertise.

Related Clinical Program

Related Faculty

Brain 
View a discussion about the Brain Tumor Program with Neurosciences Chair William Mobley, Santosh Kesari and Bob Carter.