June 6, 2006

CONTACT: Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653

PENN’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Brain Tumor Society Host
One-Day Seminar for Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers
Brain Tumors: Confronting the Challenge Together

(Philadelphia, PA) – The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and the national, non-profit Brain Tumor Society (BTS) are collaborating to offer a one-day seminar for pediatric and adult brain tumor patients, survivors, and caregivers. “Brain Tumors: Confronting the Challenge Together” will be held Saturday, June 17th, in the ground floor auditorium of the Biomedical Research Building (BRB) II/III, Curie Boulevard and Osler Way, on the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine campus in Philadelphia.

The full-day seminar runs from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and will provide updates on the latest advances in standard and experimental therapies, guidance on integrating complementary and alternative medicine into treatment, coping strategies for families dealing with treatment and survivorship issues of children and adolescents, and an overview of emerging strategies on the horizon in brain tumor treatment.

In addition to the presentations and break-out sessions, there will also be an open forum where attendees will have the opportunity to ask the experts questions. “Thanks to the Internet and the media there is so much good information out there,” says Myrna R. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, Chief of Neuro-Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “However, along with the good, also comes bad, unreliable information. There is just so much to sort through, it can be overwhelming. This type of event brings the patient, caregiver, and survivor populations together with the medical community in a forum where their questions and concerns can be addressed directly and correctly.”

“A seminar like this is so important for our patients and their loved ones,” said Sarah Gupta, LICSW, Director of Support Services at the Brain Tumor Society. “It’s absolutely essential for people affected by brain tumors to have opportunities to connect with others in similar situations. Patients, survivors, and caregivers may feel isolated in their experience until they meet other people facing the same challenges.”

Penn neuro-oncologists Myrna Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, and Amy Pruitt, MD, and neurosurgeons Kevin Judy, MD, and Donald O’Rourke, MD, are among the presenters from the Abramson Cancer Center’s Brain Tumor Program. Drs. Rosenfeld and O’Rourke are also a past recipients of the BTS research grant awards.

Other presenters represent a number of regional cancer centers, including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Columbia University. Renowned physician Peter Phillips, MD, from Children’s Hospital, and member of the BTS Scientific Advisory Council, will also be presenting.

Each year, more than 200,000 adults and children in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. There are over 120 different types of brain tumors which are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer death in children up to age 19 and the second leading cause of cancer death in young adults ages 20 to 39. The brain – the organ of the body that controls the functions of all other organs – is responsible for the experience of the five senses and is the seat of thought, emotions, language, personality, creativity, and of course, memory. Because of their location in this extraordinarily complex and vital organ, brain tumors present unique challenges for patients, physicians, and caregivers alike.

For more information about “Brain Tumors: Confronting the Challenge Together” or to register, please visit www.tbts.org and click on “One-day Seminar Series” or call 1-800-770-8287. An all-inclusive fee of $25 per person includes breakfast, lunch, and parking.


The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1973 as a center of excellence in cancer research, patient care, education and outreach. It is one of a select group of only 39 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States and is one of the top five in National Cancer Institute (NCI) funding. Home to one of the largest clinical and research programs in the world, the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania has 300 active cancer researchers and 300 full-time Penn physicians involved in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. For more information about specific types of cancer, cancer treatment, clinical trials, and research advances, visit the Abramson Cancer Center’s resource on www.penncancer.org or OncoLink at www.oncolink.org.

The Brain Tumor Society (BTS) was founded in 1989 as a national nonprofit organization to provide hope and comfort to patients, survivors and families. BTS improves the quality of life of brain tumor patients, survivors and their families by providing access to psychosocial support, information and resources. BTS also raises funds to advance carefully-selected research projects to enhance treatments and to find a cure. It has granted $9 million in research grant awards, including $1.8 million last year alone. Visit www.tbts.org for more information about BTS programs and services and for access to some of its free informational resources, including the monthly e-newsletter Head Lines, quarterly newsletter Heads Up, and the Color Me Hope Resource Guide for patients and families.

PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which is consistently ranked one of the nation's few "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/jun06/BTSsem.htm