Since the inaugural Over the Edge for Brain Cancer San Diego event in 2013, all of the funds raised have gone towards San Diego-based brain cancer research. Below are details on two of these very important research projects ABC2 was able to fund at the University of California San Diego.

New Clinical Tests for Monitoring Glioblastoma

Title: MicroRNA as a Biomarker Platform for Glioblastoma Testing
Investigators: Clark Chen, Bob Carter
Grantees: University of California San Diego, Regulus Therapeutics

In glioblastoma, a major need is a sensitive but minimally-invasive clinical tool for detecting when a tumor begins to recur and when it is or is not responding to drug treatment. To address this problem, ABC2 established a collaboration between the University of California San Diego and the biotechnology company Regulus Therapeutics.  This collaboration is drawing upon the expertise of both institutions to develop a new method for monitoring glioblastoma.

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A Blood Test for Pediatric Medulloblastoma 

Title: Immunosignature strategy for development of clinical biomarkers and identification of new drug target candidates for pediatric brain cancer
Investigators:  Bob Carter, Stephen Johnston, Robert Wechsler-Reya
Grantees: University of California San Diego, Arizona State University, Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

The goal of the collaboration funded by ABC2 is to develop immunosignature-based blood tests for detecting, classifying, and monitoring pediatric medulloblastoma over time.  As in adults, the idea is to identify different patterns of tumor-recognizing antibodies in the blood that indicate the presence/absence of medulloblastoma and differentiate between tumors of different types in children.  Once such patterns are identified, they will be examined in both established and newly improved laboratory models to verify their accuracy, determine their relationship to disease progression and therapeutic response, and inform the search for new medulloblastoma therapy targets.

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ABC2's Unconventional Approach

We're expanding the search for the cure by looking beyond a single field of research. New treatments need to be found, but an isolated scientist can only get so far; we need to drastically shift the attitudes and approaches to brain cancer research.

ABC2  breaks through the boundaries of academia, nonprofits, industries and other research fields to find the cure. To reach new treatments faster, we're helping our partners connect, learning from our failures and sharing one another's successes.

As venture philanthropists, we “buy down the risk” for researchers to connect with the companies that can develop new patient treatments. We have to push more research through that drug development “Valley of Death” before we can start learning from results — from successes and failures.

By challenging long-held attitudes about brain cancer research, we're charting a more direct course towards the cure.

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