LOOKING FOR A CURE
The Brain Tumor Research Fund
This fund provides for an annual grant to the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA), a leading non-profit organization that sponsors research into the causes of brain tumors, effective treatments and, ultimately, the search for a cure.
This fund was established in memory of Lauren Fitzgerald, who died at age 20 from a primary brain tumor – a grade 3 anaplastic oligodendroglioma. The tumor was diagnosed while Lauren, age 19, was a freshman student at Drexel University. Lauren underwent two (2) surgeries, in May and June, 2004 to remove tumor mass. Shortly after the surgeries, she began a chemotherapy regimen.
During a leave of absence from Drexel in 2005, Lauren’s tumor grew back aggressively. She was hospitalized in June, 2005, then transported to Duke University Hospital in July for additional surgery. She died on July 18, 2005, after doctors determined that she would not benefit from another surgery.
- Prevalence of primary brain tumors is estimated at 221.8 per 100,000 people in 2010, compared with 209 per 100,000 in 2004.
- Primary brain and CNS tumors originate in the brain or spinal cord, as opposed to metastatic tumors that originate elsewhere and spread to the brain or spinal cord.
- In 2013, an estimated 69,720 new primary brain tumor diagnoses will be made in the U.S., 24,620 malignant and 45,100 nonmalignant.
- An estimated 14,080 deaths are expected to occur this year due to brain tumors, 7,930 males, 6,150 females.
- About 43% of brain and CNS tumors occur in men and about 57% occur in women.
- About 120 types of brain and CNS tumors have been identified to date, and some have multiple subtypes. Each tumor type/subtype is genetically distinct, making the search for treatments or a cure extremely difficult.
- Brain tumors are most commonly treated by surgery, followed by radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or both. Little progress has been made in finding new treatments the past two decades.
- Brain tumors do not discriminate. Primary brain tumors – those that begin in the brain and tend to stay in the brain – occur in people of all ages, but they are statistically more frequent in children and older adults.
- Metastatic brain tumors – those that begin as a cancer elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain – are more common in adults than in children.
- The second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under age 20 (leukemia is the first).
- The second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males age 20-39 (leukemia is the first).
- The fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20–39.
The facts and statistics cited here include brain and central nervous system tumors (including spinal cord, pituitary and pineal gland tumors). We continually update these statistics, as they become available from the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS).