Thank you from Dr. Nadia Laack

Thanks to the generous awards from Brains Together for a Cure, we have been able to successfully demonstrate that a new PET tracer, FDOPA, can detect tumor not always visible on a standard MRI scan. This information can assist the neurosurgeon in identifying the most aggressive disease to target for biopsy and removal. The additional tumor visible with the new PET tracer can also help the radiation oncologist more accurately identify and treat the brain tumor. The initial pilot study focusing on guiding surgery completed enrollment in September 2013. Our second pilot study, also funded by BTFC, will allow Radiation Oncologists to use the PET tracer to deliver radiation to the brain tumor more accurately. In addition, the results of the pilot study funded by BTFC were so compelling that we were awarded a highly competitive $1.3 million National Institutes of Health grant over the next 5 years to continue studying FDOPA PET for neurosurgery and radiation therapy of brain tumors. We will also be investigating the role of advanced MRI techniques and FDOPA PET for earlier identification of tumor progression. Again, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to BTFC for allowing us the opportunity to pursue brain tumor research over the past 3 years. We are hopeful that the results from this research will lead to better treatment and better outcomes for brain tumor patients at Mayo and around the world.