Driskill Foundation awards $5 million to advance OHSU’s pioneering research in novel brain tumor treatments
08/25/10 Portland, Ore.
Walter S. & Lucienne Driskill Foundation will support OHSU’s world-renowned Blood-Brain Barrier program and the work of its director, Edward Neuwelt, M.D.
A $5 million grant from the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Foundation will advance OHSU’s efforts to develop new, nonsurgical treatments for malignant brain tumors and to share its unique knowledge with the international medical community.
The Driskill Foundation’s grant supports OHSU’s Neuro-Oncology and Blood-Brain Barrier Program, led by neurosurgeon Edward A. Neuwelt, MD, Professor, Department of Neurology. Thirty years ago, Neuwelt developed the world’s first effective clinical procedure for outwitting the so-called blood-brain barrier, the membrane of tightly coupled endothelial cells lining the blood vasculature throughout the brain to protect its vital functions from potentially toxic outside agents – including chemotherapy drugs. Neuwelt’s blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) therapy involves the use of a sugar alcohol (mannitol) to temporarily shrink the cells in this membrane, enabling chemotherapy drugs to reach the brain through an intra-arterial infusion. Neuwelt has achieved excellent long-term survival results with BBBD in patients with central nervous system lymphoma, primitive neuro-ectodermal tumors and germ cell tumors, and is working on expanding the therapy to additional tumor types.
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