May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Please join the AACR in supporting brain cancer research.
Brain Cancer Awareness Month

This year some 24,540 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with brain cancer and other nervous system cancers, according to federal statistics. These cancers make up a portion of the 85,000 brain tumors that will be diagnosed in this country in 2021. 

There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may be either benign or malignant. Benign brain and spinal cord tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain. They rarely spread into other tissues and may recur. 

Malignant brain and spinal cord tumors are likely to grow quickly and spread into other brain tissue. 

When a tumor grows into or presses on an area of the brain, it may stop that part of the brain from working the way it should. Both benign and malignant brain tumors produce signs and symptoms and need treatment.

Tumors that start in the brain are called primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors may spread to other parts of the brain or to the spine, but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Often, tumors found in the brain have started somewhere else in the body and spread to one or more parts of the brain. These are called metastatic brain tumors.

Metastatic brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors. About half of metastatic brain tumors are from lung cancer. 

May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that some 18,600 people in the U.S. will die from brain and other nervous system cancers in 2021.

What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area

The AACR was pleased to recognize several researchers for their work in the field of brain cancers in 2020:  

  • AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grant: Nicholas A. Graham, PhD, University of Southern California
  • AACR-Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award for Translational Cancer Research: Dimitrios Mathios, MD, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grant: Carsten Hagemann, PhD, Universitätsklinikum Würzburg
  • AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grant: Sandeep Mittal, MD, FRCSC, FACS, Virginia Tech
  • AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grant: David D. Tran, MD, PhD, University of Florida
  • AACR-Novocure Tumor Treating Fields Research Grant: Christopher Douglas Willey, MD, PhD, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • AACR-PLGA Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Research Grant to Optimize Drug Dosing Strategies for Pediatric LGA/LGG Patients: Karisa C. Schreck, MD, PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine