Why I Head 2 Hill?

4 May

Most of my posts over the last six years have been related to Susie’s recurrence of brain cancer (a secondary glioblastoma in 2013). I also post about my professional work in artificial intelligence for healthcare and life sciences, as related to oncology. I’ve been captivated by new developments and possibilities in medicine, specifically related to genomics, immunology and gene therapy. I also recognize how challenging it is to get promising research out of the lab into clinical trials and ultimately approved.

Susie was part of a clinical trial, back in 1999, for a drug called Temozolomide (aka Temodar). This drug is one of four that have been approved over the last twenty years for malignant brain cancer treatment. With all the advancements in science, some my think that’s not quite an accelerated pace. Considering patients with Grade IV Glioblastoma on average have an overall survival rate of less than two years, the worst of all cancers, there clearly is a need to improve brain cancer research innovation and the timeliness of clinical studies. Brain cancer is quite different than other cancers.

I’m very happy the National Brain Tumor Society has been strong advocates of the GBM Agile initiative. This effort along with focusing on new research and clinical trials based on immunotherapy and targeted therapy are a combination to expand and move quicker than we ever have. The only way for this to happen is through funding.

While I hope Susie will not have another recurrence, I recognize I know many people who have been diagnosed with brain tumors/ cancers. Some are still with us, like my nephew, and some are not. It is those that will face this terrible disease in the future that I hope we can help.