JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — September 20, 2012. To help Mayo Clinic design the most effective treatment possible for brain cancer patients, the JLG Brain Cancer Foundation is pledging to raise $250,000 to assist in the development of a brain tissue bank at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. It has already raised $145,000 toward that goal. The brain cancer tissue bank will include brain tumor tissues for all stages and types of brain cancers.
"This vast tissue library will enable Mayo Clinic researchers to accurately identify the key molecular culprits in brain cancers — not just genes or proteins that influence cancer development, but the ones that make cancers more aggressive or resistant to therapies. Once found, these malignant forces can be stopped," says Jill Geehr, the daughter of Jacquie Lorraine Goldman, for whom the Foundation is named.
Mrs. Goldman was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most virulent form of brain cancer, in 2008. She participated in several experimental drug trials over the course of treatment at Mayo Clinic, but lost her struggle 1.5 years after diagnosis — well above the normal survival, says Ms. Geehr.
"We want to see that people diagnosed with brain cancer have options for treatment that are effective," she says. "Right now, most people who receive this diagnosis have an outcome that is pretty bleak."
"Mayo Clinic is pursuing a transformative vision for brain cancer care. We can help," says Ms. Geehr.
The Foundation's annual fundraising events are being held later this month. The second annual TASTE food and wine event is Thursday, Sept. 27 at TPC Sawgrass, and the Unlock the Cure JLG 5K Fun Run is slated for Saturday, Sept. 29, in Jacksonville Beach at The Beach Restaurant.
Brain tissue samples that are now starting to be collected at Mayo Clinic "will be instrumental in developing a new understanding of the biology and treatment of brain malignancies like that of Mrs. Goldman's," says Kurt Jaeckle, M.D., the Mayo Clinic neuro-oncologist who treated Mrs. Goldman.
"This Brain Cancer Tissue Bank never would have been possible without the kind donation and pledge of the JLG Brain Cancer Foundation," he says.
"It is our hope that every person who has fought or continues to fight brain cancer will lead us closer to unlocking a cure," says Ms. Geehr.