12 leading medical centers unite to form brain tumor research collaborative

Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the ReMission Alliance. Today, the UF Health-led ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors announced the names of 12 partner institutions from across the U.S. and Canada that are teaming up to develop novel treatments to vastly improve quality of life and long-term survival for patients fighting malignant brain tumors.

The announcement comes ahead of this weekend’s ReMission Summit for Brain Tumors, held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, where internationally recognized neuro-oncologists and brain tumor investigators from the 12 partner institutions will form a one-of-a-kind research community for the advancement of brain tumor immunotherapy research and clinical trials.

“We are proud to lead the ReMission Alliance and are emboldened by the strength of our institutions as a united force,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “We all recognize the dire need to greatly improve treatment options for these patients and we’re confident that a team science approach spearheaded by researchers of this caliber will get us there.”

Joining the UF Health team in the research collaborative, led by ReMission Alliance Directors Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., and William A. Friedman, M.D., are the following institutions and principal investigators:

  • Children’s of Alabama — Girish Dhall, M.D.
  • Children’s National Hospital — Eugene Hwang, M.D., and Roger Packer, M.D.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard — Keith L. Ligon, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — David Reardon, M.D.
  • Duke University Medical Center — John Sampson, M.D., Ph.D.
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center — Amy Heimberger, M.D.
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital — Mohamed Shebl AbdelBaki, M.D.
  • Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute — Robert Wechsler-Reya, Ph.D.
  • Stanford Medicine — Gerald Grant, M.D., and Sanjiv Gambhir, M.D., Ph.D.
  • The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University — Stephen Johnston, Ph.D.
  • University of Toronto Hospital for Sick Children — Michael D. Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.

“The group of institutions and researchers that form the ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors constitute, to my knowledge, the largest collective effort focused specifically on advancing safe and effective immunotherapy for children and adults with brain cancer,” said Mitchell, co-director of UF’s Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy. “We’re honored to work alongside these talented investigators and believe that this type of collaboration will create unprecedented momentum in our effort to improve the lives of those suffering from brain tumors.”

A 10-year, $100 million fundraising commitment by the University of Florida was announced at the 2019 ReMission Summit to underwrite the audacious goals of this expansive collaboration, which will conduct leading-edge preclinical investigations and develop collaborative and innovative immunotherapy clinical trials incorporating state-of-the-art approaches in the treatment of brain cancer.

A $12 million gift from Harris Rosen and The Harris Rosen Foundation in 2019 helped launch the ReMission Alliance, which will convene annually over the next decade at the ReMission Summit, where members will report progress, present data and collaborate in multi-institutional workgroups.

“Brain tumors are one of the great unsolved medical challenges of our time,” said Jonathan Licht, M.D., director of the UF Health Cancer Center. “This devastating disease takes some of our most productive and vital citizens in the prime of their lives and therapeutic advances have been at a standstill. I salute Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Friedman and these other leaders of brain cancer research for coming together from across the country to share their research as a collaborative effort, putting aside institutional silos to change the outcome of this disease.”

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Todd Taylor

Assistant Director of Communications, McKnight Brain Institute

Todd Taylor is the assistant director of communications for the McKnight Brain...Read More