PHOENIX, July 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In recognition of the local strides being made in the global fight against glioblastoma, Mayor Katharine Gallego of Phoenix and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County Jack Sellers have both designated July 21, 2021 as Glioblastoma Awareness Day. Local researchers from the Barrow Neurological Institute and their partners at Global Cancer Technology are currently executing on promising pre-clinical studies that could provide a treatment for the aggressive brain cancer, and a pathway to an eventual cure.
Dr. Ekokobe Fonkem, Director of Neuro-oncology and associate professor, and Dr. Amir Azadi, neuro-oncologist, both in the Department of Neurology at Barrow Neurological Institute at the office of the Mayor of Phoenix, holding the mayor’s proclamation for Glioblastoma Awareness Day. Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer which kills 10,000 Americans each year. Barrow Neurological Institute and Global Cancer Technology are working to create a cure for the currently untreatable disease
Glioblastoma is a currently untreatable form of cancer that kills more than 241,000 people around the world each year, including more than 10,000 Americans. Once diagnosed, patients have only a 16-month life expectancy. Despite its death toll, which has included President Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden in 2015, and former Arizona Senator John McCain in 2018, glioblastoma remains relatively unknown to the public.
“The only way to cure this disease once and for all is to make it a household name, and ensure that it receives the same kinds of resources that other, more well-known types of cancer already have,” said Dr. Ekokobe Fonkem, the Director of Neuro-oncology and an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Barrow Neurological Institute. “The declaration of Glioblastoma Awareness Day in Phoenix and Maricopa County is important because it helps us to make this disease more well-known.”
GCT and Barrow Neurological Institute are currently working on pre-clinical studies to test the efficacy of two molecules known as PI3K inhibitors. PI3K, or Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, is associated with cellular processes including cell death, protein synthesis, metabolism, and other activities that are associated with the absence of growth regulation of cancer tumors. The primary PI3K inhibitor molecule has already been shown to block aspects of this aberrant activity, while the second molecule, targeted to the Vps34 PI3K isoform, has been shown to impede the movement of cancerous cells and arrest their ability to kill off surrounding healthy cells.
But the molecules are also special for another reason: they’re small, and in the fight against brain cancer, that matters since these molecules can get to places that others can’t.
“Many molecules are too large to cross the blood-brain barrier,” said Dr. Karen Newell Rogers, Chief Scientific Consultant and Advisor at Global Cancer Technology. “Our GCT molecules are small enough to cross that barrier, meaning that the therapeutics may actually arrive at the tumors. We are also working on a more effective delivery system that make sure the drugs get selectively targeted to the tumor, not everywhere, and could someday help us to be certain that therapeutics will work for patients, exert less toxicity to normal tissues, and help patients on their journey as they fight this aggressive disease. We are making great progress.”
Dr. Fonkem added, “The brain cancer community is working as hard as ever to take care of our patients with glioblastoma. I’m very optimistic that with all of the collaborations happening that we’re not too far from finding a cure for this disease.”
A resolution to declare Glioblastoma Awareness Day for July 21, 2021 passed the United States Senate by unanimous vote in May 2021. The same resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives.
About Global Cancer Technology Global Cancer Technology (GCT) is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that is pre-revenue and financially operates as a medical technology holding company. GCT holds numerous patents and other assets including licenses to commercialize nanoparticle technology for the treatment of COVID-19, cancer and other diseases requiring targeted therapeutic delivery. In collaboration with highly acclaimed academic institutions such as UCSD and Barrow Neurological Institute, along with recognized industry leaders, GCT aims to make novel therapies available to patients as quickly as possible. The company has already raised $1 million in a private placement. The SEC has recently qualified GCT to commence raising $9 Million under a Reg A+ registration.
About Barrow Neurological Institute Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Accept Challenges. Reject Norms. Push Boundaries.
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