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The FBTA was invited, this past September, to meet with the University of Miami's Dr. Ricardo Komotar and the UM leadership team which is spearheading its latest project, the UM Brain Tumor Initiative (UMBTI). Discussions focused on the university's aspirations to partner with local organizations in its efforts to develop community support for this initiative, its desire to establish support groups for its patients throughout the South Florida megalopolis and its dedication to expanding research and clinical trials for both adult and pediatric patients.

FBTA congratulates the University of Miami for taking the leadership role in establishing this much needed and critical brain tumor initiative. It is also excited to announce that it has accepted UM's invitation to be the lead community partner with this world-class medical institution in its efforts to create awareness and support of the project; and, to insure its resounding success. The FBTA leadership team's decision to get totally behind this historical South Florida initiative was made only after the UMBTI representatives assured that collaboration with other medical institutions would be a common element driving the research and clinical trials comprising the initiative.

Exemplifying its commitment and in keeping with FBTA's mission, it is providing UM the opportunity to be awarded as much as $50,000 in grant monies to assist in the start up of the project. Finally, to further demonstrate how FBTA values the sharing of research-driven information, and in recognition of September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, it challenged UMBTI to open a pediatric-based Early Phase 1 clinical trial the university has not been able to open due to the limited financial resources it had for this research.

Specifically, FBTA committed to matching up to $50,000 to fund the opening of a dendritic cell vaccine therapy trial being proposed by UM's Director of Pediatric Oncology Early Phase Clinical Trials Program, Dr. John Goldberg. The awarding of the grant is contingent on UM collaborating with another local pediatric institution and each organization investing $25,000 of internal funds towards the trial. Once these contributions are made by the participating institutions for the proposed trial, FBTA will immediately award $25,000 from its general fund and $25,000 from its pediatric-restricted account the Bret Hale Memorial Fund at FBTA.

Stay tuned as we look forward to announcing our increased participation in this meaningful effort to accelerate brain tumor research!