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DURHAM, N.C. – A team of brain tumor researchers led by Duke Medicine scientists will be presented with the Eighth Annual AACR Team Science Award at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in April.
 
The Duke University/Johns Hopkins University/National Cancer Institute Malignant Brain Tumor Team was selected for its accomplishments in expanding the scientific knowledge about the biology of glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, the most common and lethal type of brain cancer.
 
The multi-site team is led by Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke University School of Medicine. Of the 26 members on the team, 19 are from Duke Medicine. The winning team collectively receives a $50,000 prize.
 
Among the accomplishments cited by AACR is the group’s identification of major genetic defects in GBM tumors, including abnormalities that appear to define a subgroup of less lethal GBMs.
 
The team was also recognized for developing a therapeutic vaccine that is currently being tested in an international phase III clinical trial; targeted immunotoxins that are in various stages of studies; and a genetically modified poliovirus that has shown promise as a therapy to kill tumor cells in a phase I trial.
 
The AACR Team Science Award is designed to encourage change within the traditional cancer research community to foster interdisciplinary team science.
 
In addition to Bigner, honorees from Duke include Daniel Barboriak; Oren Becher; Thomas Cummings; Annick Desjardins; Allan Friedman; Henry Friedman; Matthias Gromeier; Sridharan Gururangan; Yiping He; Chien-Tsun Kuan; Roger McLendon; Katherine Peters; Tulika Ranjan; B.K. Ahmed Rasheed; John Sampson; Gordana Vlahovic; Jason A. Watts; Hai Yan; and Michael Zalutsky.
 
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