Leading experts in neurosurgery, neuroscience, oncology and industry gathered at the fifth annual Feinstein Institute for Medical Research’s Brain Tumor Biotech Summit at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital to engage in an open exchange of ideas to further advance the development of therapies for brain tumors and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
“The last few years have brought the most innovation we have seen for the treatment of brain tumors in more than 30 years,” said John A. Boockvar, MD, vice chair of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill and co-director of the Feinstein Institute’s Brain Tumor Biotech Center. “Key to maintaining this momentum is through further collaboration between researchers and our industry partners.”
Brain tumors and CNS diseases can be very difficult to treat as most chemotherapy drugs cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier, a natural defense mechanism that prevents substances in the bloodstream from getting into the brain. In addition, depending on the location of the tumor, surgery may not be possible. The 2017 Brain Tumor Biotech Summit examined some of the latest therapies aimed at conquering these challenges, including immunomodulatory therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which uses the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, novel technologies to overcome the blood brain barrier to administer essential medications, and other innovative treatments for malignant glioma.
“Events like the Brain Tumor Biotech Summit inform medical professionals about new therapies on the horizon or currently being tested in the clinic, while also making those essential connections to spark new ideas and accelerate the development of novel therapies,” said Marc Symons, PhD, co-director of the Feinstein Institute’s Brain Tumor Biotech Center.
Along with discussing the latest therapies, attendees of the summit were given advice on best practices to maintain funding for research, and to start up and maintain a biotech company in the neuro-oncology space. This included a fireside chat with CNBC anchor Andrew Sorkin and a venture capital/investor panel led by biotech leader Franklin Berger.
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About the Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org
Heather E. Ball