Meningioma Mommas is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which provides 24/7 online support to all those affected by meningioma brain tumors. While meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumor, they don't warrant the funding they deserve because of their mistakenly "benign"label. However, depending on tumor location, they can and do cause devastating deficits such as blindness, paralysis, epilepsy, deafness and congnitive impairment, to name but a few. They also do kill. Meningioma Mommas is committed to only funding meningioma specific research. To date we have donated $396,023 for that purpose.
We are asking for help to fund a new research project by Dr Hiroaki Wakimoto, Principal Investigator, and Dr Robert Martuza, Brain Tumor Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital. Meningioma Mommas has already provided an initial grant of $10,000. To fully fund the project we need another $17,000. A detailed project summary is below but the simple aim of this project is: "how to best activate anti-tumor immune cells triggered by oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (oHSVs) to attack and destroy high grade meningiomas". The project will be completed by December 31, 2020.
PROJECT SUMMARY AS PROVIDED BY DR WAKIMOTO
"Meningioma is the most frequent tumor type in the central nervous system, with an estimated incidence of 7.86 cases per 100,000 people annually. Although generally regarded as a benign tumor curable with surgical resection, a substantive fraction of meningiomas are not benign. These high-grade meningiomas (HGM), approximately 20%, tend to relapse after surgery and radiotherapy, resulting in morbidity and mortality due to lack of effective treatment. Numerous clinical trials testing molecular targeted agents have failed. Effective treatment modalities for HGM are thus solely needed. However, meningioma has been understudied and meningioma research has been underfunded.
We consider that oncolytic virus therapy has a potential to change the therapeutic paradigm for HGM. Using mouse models of HGM, we have shown that injections of genetically modified oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (oHSVs) directly into meningioma result in potent anti-tumor activity via direct killing of meningioma cells, while keeping surrounding normal cells unharmed. This cancer cell selectivity is achieved by the ability of the genetically engineered virus to differentiate cancer cells versus normal cells and amplify and spread within the tumor. Local virus therapy is considered particularly suited for the treatment of HGM as unlike other cancers like gliomas, meningioma cells are not extensively dispersed or metastasized and tend to be confined locally even at relapses.
We propose to address the important question: how to best activate anti-tumor immune cells triggered by oHSV to attack and destroy HGM. "
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
"We understand the dire need to develop effective treatments for patients with HGM, and consider preclinical assessment of potentially efficacious modalities vital and urgent. We have the expertise and resources to perform the studies outlined above and are capable of delivery of research results in a timely manner. We are poised to rapidly translate the results of the proposed animal experiments rapidly into the clinic to help patients with HGM."