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Seeking Solutions for Brain Tumors

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14, 2011

For the nurses, evaluating length of stay is important, Grigaitis says. They can help enable a patient to be discharged directly from the intensive care unit “instead of taking them to the floor where they will be spending extra days.”

The development of clinical programs is significant because of the lack of progress in the brain tumor research field, according to Pomeroy.

An estimated 63,000 Americans were diagnosed with brain tumors in 2010, and 612,000 patients currently live with a primary brain tumor.

“Progress to date has been limited, even with cost being no object,” Pomeroy says. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy survived 14 months after diagnosis, and journalist Robert Novak survived 13 months.

“Our survival rates in 1980, compared to 2010—we have gained only four months, so we’re not exactly moving closer to a cure,” Pomeroy says.

Barrow is working to make inroads in evaluation of brain tumors, he says. “Our concept is built on a foundation of research, lab work, and clinical trials, and [is] tied into a high volume of patients that feed the clinical trials,” Pomeroy adds. He describes Barrow’s approach as “home grown; it’s really taking innovative approaches to therapeutic solutions that will open some new doors, and we already have.”

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