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Robert Gibbs


Here is a staggering statistic: Each day in the United States, 482 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now that is just in the US alone! For these 482 people, not many treatments exist.  With those available treatments, only 5% of those diagnosed with a Glio-blastoma Multiform will survive more than 5 years.  

Only two new treatments have been approved by the FDA in the past 20 years.  But there is hope is on the horizon:  there are a few promising treatments that exist but are only in the clinical trial stages.  However, some of the treatments are personalized, and require the actual tissue from the patient's brain tumor to be properly stored and preserved, so that it can be used to make those personalized treatments.

Our guest today knows all of this firsthand:  he has survived almost 6 years since his brain tumor diagnosis in 2004, thanks to cutting edge treatments and an experimental brain cancer vaccine he received.  In Clearwater Florida, Robert Gibbs and his wife Barb has founded “Miles For Hope” to fund brain tumor clinical trials and to provide travel assistance to brain tumor patients enrolled in brain tumor clinical trials. It is our honor to welcome to the show today, Robert Gibbs.

Each year more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Primary brain tumors comprise approximately 40,000 of these diagnoses.  

- Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). They are the second leading cause of cancer death in male adults ages 20-29 and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in female adults ages 20-39.  

- Metastatic brain tumors, cancer that spreads from other parts of the body to the brain, are the most common types of brain tumors. They occur in 10-15% of people with cancer. Primary brain tumors generally do not metastasize to other parts of the body.  

- There are over 120 different types of brain tumors, which make effective treatment complicated. They can be malignant or non-malignant (benign), and in either case, can be just as injurious or life threatening. At present, the standard treatments for brain tumors include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. These may be used either individually or in combination.  

- Brain tumors in children are different from those in adults, and consequently, are treated differently. As many as 69% of children will survive, but they are often left with long-term side effects. There are currently no known causes of brain tumors, however, epidemiological studies are ongoing. Complete and accurate data on all primary brain tumors is needed to provide the foundation for investigations of its causes and research leading to improved diagnosis and treatment.  

- Brain tumors have no socio-economic boundaries and do not discriminate among gender or ethnicity. 

- At this time, brain tumor research is underfunded and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease. The cure rate for most brain tumors is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer.

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