Presently, patients with primary malignant brain tumors have a life expectancy of 15 weeks
following surgery unless they receive additional types of therapy (chemotherapy,
radiotherapy, and/or immunotherapy). Patients that receive additional therapy can increase
life expectancy to 50 weeks.
The statistics on the life expectancy and survival have increased efforts among researchers
to develop new treatments for primary malignant brain tumors.
This research project involves the growth and study of human brain tumor cells outside the
body in the laboratory as part of an attempt to better understand these tumors and to
develop more effective treatments for them.
This protocol involves the study of human brain tumor cells outside the body in the
laboratory as part of an attempt to better understand these tumors and to develop more
effective therapeutic measures.
Malignant primary brain tumor patients at present have a life expectancy of approximately 15
weeks following surgery unless other adjunctive measures are taken. With currently
available adjunctive therapy the life expectancy reaches 50 weeks.
These survival data have spurred extensive efforts to develop new treatment modalities.
Radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy have been mildly helpful adjuncts but their use
has been largely on empirical grounds or on the basis of experimentation on animal tumor
models often quite different in nature from human brain tumors.
Our group has sought to develop data upon which to devise new treatment strategies for
patients with malignant brain tumors.
The foundation of our approach rests upon the use of in vitro studies of the cell biology of
each patient's tumor.
It is our plan to utilize these tumors for in vitro investigation of the immunology,
biology, biochemistry and molecular biology of brain tumors. Optimal conventional therapy
will be given to the patients as we seek to learn more of how the scientific information
obtained can be used to help them.
Patients to be studied will have either undergone surgical confirmation of a malignant
primary brain tumor or be considered likely to have that diagnosis on the basis of
They should have survival likelihood of at least three months and be able to comprehend
the nature of the proposed program.