Miles For Hope collaborates with two brain tumor organizations to fund $100,000 UCLA brain cancer vaccine trial for low-grade glioma patients

Accelerated Brain Cancer Cure Foundation and Stephen M. Coffman charitable trust join Miles For Hope in funding $100,000 grant for brain tumor research.
(PR NewsChannel) / July 6, 2011 / CLEARWATER, Fla. 

Miles For Hope LogoMiles For Hope announced today that it has partnered with two brain tumor organizations, Accelerated Brain Cancer Cure Foundation (ABC2) and the Stephen M. Coffman Charitable Trust, in awarding a $100,000 research grant to University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) neurosurgeon Linda Liau, M.D., PhD to begin the clinical trial, Optimizing Dendritic Cell Vaccination for Low Grade Glioma Patients. This is the first trial of its kind for patients that have been diagnosed with low grade gliomas, a common form of brain cancer. This grant is a collaboration to fund research that has the potential to improve the lives of brain cancer patients.

This is the first time these non-profit organizations have come together to jointly fund a research award. This grant combines Miles For Hope and the Stephen M. Coffman Charitable Trust’s commitment to increase awareness and funding for cutting-edge research with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure’s dedication to advancing therapies leading to a cure for brain cancer.  “We believe collaboration is a critical component to advancing a cure. We are pleased to partner with Miles For Hope to fund Dr. Liau’s research. Together, our funding allows this trial to move forward, “said Max Wallace, CEO of ABC2.

According to Robert (Bob) Gibbs, Miles For Hope co-founder and a seven-year brain cancer survivor, conventional treatments over the last two decades have only been able to extend the median survival rate by approximately two weeks. “For that reason, we felt compelled to increase awareness and raise funds for brain cancer vaccines so that others will have access to the same treatment that saved my life. Most organizations in the country focus on chemotherapy and radiation which, in my opinion, do not yield the same effectiveness as I am seeing with the addition of the vaccine.”

Gibbs, married and father of four, was diagnosed in 2004 with brain cancer at the age of 34. He and his wife, Barb, researched possible treatment options and found an experimental brain cancer vaccine. However, Gibbs did not qualify for the vaccine at UCLA until 2008 after his second brain surgery when it was discovered the brain cancer reached a Stage III. “The vaccine I received extended the median survival of Grade IV brain cancer from 14.6 months, with conventional treatment, to over 36 months,” stated Gibbs.

“Bob is a fighter,” said Linda Liau, M.D., PhD, UCLA professor of neurosurgery, who developed a dendritic cell vaccine that is personalized for each individual based on the patient’s tumor. “I am grateful to Bob and Barb Gibbs for this gift, and thank them for their tireless efforts to defeat this terrible disease.”

Miles for Hope was also the first organization to assist patients in the process of storing their cancer tissue, just like umbilical cord blood.  Until May 2010, this option was only available for patients in other countries.  Miles for Hope provides patients access to a private storage facility, where they have access to their tumor tissue for future use and testing.  “We were pleased to be the first organization in the country to help patients use this option, but it’s only a start,” said Gibbs. “As the focus of cancer treatment in the United States changes towards a more personalized approach with the advancement of cancer vaccines, it is critical that patients start saving their tumor tissue”

Brain tumors affect over 200,000 people each year; one person every three minutes in the United States. They are also the leading cause of solid tumor cancer deaths in children under the age of 20.  It is estimated that over 600,000 people are battling a brain tumor in the United States. In addition, brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer death in males under the age of 29 and ranked fifth as the cause of cancer death in female adults age 20-39.

Gibbs has become an expert on current immunotherapies and treatment options for brain cancer because of his personal experience with the disease. Gibbs is available for interviews to discuss these points and other topic-related developments.

About Miles For Hope: Miles for Hope, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to funding cutting-edge brain tumor research, raising awareness of brain tumors and providing travel assistance to brain tumor patients enrolled in clinical trials.  For additional information, call (727) 781-HOPE (4673) or visit the website:

Bob Gibbs
1684 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 781-4673


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SOURCE:  Miles For Hope, Inc.

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