OsteoMed is honored to support the, Annual Neurosurgery Softball Tournament, hosted by the New York Yankees. This event benefits the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Columbia University Pediatric Brain Tumor Research in their endeavors to find the causes, cures, and safer treatments for brain cancers.
Brain tumors are a heterogeneous group of central nervous system neoplasms that arise within or adjacent to the brain. Some forms of these tumors are curable by surgical resection, but many types of tumors do not respond to current treatments and if they do disabling neurological injuries often occur.
Childhood brain tumors are the second most frequent malignancy of childhood and the most common form of solid tumor. Many of the tumors seen in adult and in pediatric populations, although classified the same, have been discovered to have different sites of origin, histological features, clinical presentations, and differences in proclivity to disseminate throughout the nervous system based on the patients age. In 2000, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Stroke came together with research facilities and top neurosurgeons to discuss priorities in brain tumor research in the coming years.
Some of the priorities created during this meeting were the increase in understanding of the cellular origin of different types of brain tumors (pediatric and adult), development of more effective and safer treatments for childhood embryonal and primitive tumors, and the development of immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at improving control of localize and disseminated brain tumor diseases.
The pediatric neurosurgery department at Columbia University and The Bartoli Brain Tumor Research Laboratory have been uncovering data that has demonstrated that cells of the immune system (including T cells, B cells, and monocytes/macrophages) frequently infiltrate pediatric brain tumors, suggesting that immunity could impact tumor survival. Their work with medulloblastomas has suggested that these tumors avoid immune attack by up-regulation of non-functional “decoy” receptors against death receptor ligands and cytokines that would lead to growth arrest or killing. In studies with malignant gliomas, they have discovered that these tumor cells have the ability to turn off monocytes and microglia, which are the most prevalent immune cell in these tumors. By inactivating monocytes and microglia, malignant gliomas essentially cripple the immune system’s efforts to destroy the tumor.
The Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NERF) was founded by the AANS in 1981, and since has become the premier foundation supporting neurosurgical research study. The NREF supports cutting-edge scientific investigations in areas such as aneurysms, biomaterials, brain tumors, epilepsy, low back pain, Parkinson’s disease, spine disorders, sport-related injuries, and stem-cells – leading to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions. These research projects address necessary improvements in patient care and quality of life.
Both of these incredible research organization are on the path of ground breaking discoveries that will answer the priorities requested by medical professionals, the needs of the patients diagnosed with brain tumors, and the parents of children stricken with these fatal diseases. The Neurosurgery Softball Tournament is being held June 9, 2012 in Central Park and will aid the facilities in making these discoveries a faster reality. For more information on the tournament visit, http://www.neurocharitysoftball.org/.
Progress Review Group on Brain Tumors, Report Nov. 2000