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THERAPEUTIC DOOR OPENS FOR AGGRESIVE BRAIN CANCER

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The Power of Collaboration
Tracy Batchelor, MD, MPH

This double-whammy, shrinking both the tumor and the swelling, intrigued Batchelor. He, like Jain, wanted to find out if this normalization window also happens in humans. Jain knew cediranib had recently been approved for clinical trials. In 2005, Batchelor obtained funding from the National Cancer Institute to launch a clinical trial for 31 people with recurrent glioblastoma.

The team had a cancer biology expert, Jain, and a renowned oncologist, Batchelor. But it needed another ingredient, brain imaging, to track the changes in the tumor and swelling. “I knew that one of the top brain tumor imaging experts was right here at Massachusetts General,” says Batchelor. A. Gregory Sorensen, MD, associate professor of radiology and co-director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, enthusiastically joined the study.

“Rakesh had questions about cediranib’s effect on cancer biology, and I could help answer some of those questions with imaging,” Sorensen explains. “Tracy could tell how the patients were faring. We had phenomenal imaging tools, but it was the unique integration of interpretations that mattered. Other groups could get the data but not have the mutual insights of science, imaging technology and medicine.”

Massachusetts General Hospital recognized the synergy, honoring the trio with its 2007 Clinical Research Team Award for their work on cediranib. Sorensen developed a protocol of six forms of MRIs to track aspects of the cancer biology and the mechanisms by which the drug worked. “Patients were eager to undergo imaging and learn what was happening to their tumors,” recalls Sorensen. Participants came from as far away as Tennessee and Florida every 28 days to lie in a scanner for an hour or more.

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Advancing the Specialized Care of Individuals with Brain Tumors
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APPOINTMENTS & REFERRALS

MGH Brain Tumor Center
Yawkey Building 9th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts,  02114
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Patients & Families with questions about referrals, consultations or appointments may contact:
Telephone: 617.724.8770
Fax: 617.724.8769

PHYSICIANS' INFO SERVICE

Physicians with
questions may contact:
Tracy Batchelor, M.D.
Executive Director,
MGH Brain Tumor Center
 
Harvard Medical School
Mass General Hospital
MassGeneral.org
MGH Cancer Center
NS @ MGHNS Diagnosis @ MGH
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