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June 13, 2019

EndBrainCancer Initiative Announced Campaign for New Brain Cancer Clinical Trials in the Greater Puget Sound Area at its Education, Awareness & Action Dinner

SEATTLE, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The EndBrainCancer Initiative (EBCI) held its 8th Annual “Brains Matter” Dinner on May 15th raising $57,500 for its work. The “Hopeless to HOPE campaign” was announced. The goal of this multi-year campaign is to bring new clinical trials for brain cancer to the Greater Puget Sound area and offer more treatment options for brain cancer patients.

Dr Desjardns at a podium
Dr. Desjardins

Annick Desjardins, M.D., Duke researcher and neuro-oncologist, served as Keynote Speaker for the event. Dr. Desjardins is best known for her work with the re-engineered poliovirus to treat recurrent glioblastoma, rGBM, covered on the CBS News 60 Minutes program in 2015 and on a followup on a CBS News segment. Having received breakthrough status with the FDA in 2018 (supported by advocacy from EBCI), the treatment approach is being studied in sites around the United States. Dr. Desjardins noted the challenges and hopes with the research where, as with other immunotherapies, some patients respond while others do not. A major goal of this research is to explore what is required to ensure that many more patients respond to the poliovirus therapy and thereby create many more long term survivors.

Dellann with message of HOPE
Dellann Elliott Mydland

Facilitated by EBCI and presenting sponsor, AbbVie, the main event was preceded the evening before with a dinner where discussion ensued among regional brain cancer researchers and Dr. Desjardins about the feasibility ofbringing a clinical trial for the modified poliovirus therapy to the Greater Puget Sound area. “We are laser focused on advocating for new clinical trials to be made available to brain cancer patients in our area,” commented Dellann Elliott Mydland, President and CEO of EBCI. “Together we are working on finding the philanthropy and establishing the best clinical context on the ground. I am pleased with our progress.” Mydland amplified this theme in the main dinner event where she announced and explained the broader “Hopeless to HOPE” campaign.

Photo of Kristin
Kristen McQueen

The May 15th dinner included a personal story and call to hope from Ken Kirkpatrick, a local brain cancer survivor. EBCI also awarded Kristen McQueen the 2019 National HOPE Award presented by Novocure. Kristin was selected following a national outreach campaign to nominate a brain cancer patient who most embodies HOPE. In her remarks Kristin explained how she gives back by helping children with cancer at Camp “Mak-A-Dream” concluding, “A brain tumor changed my life, but it doesn’t define how I live it.”

The “Brains Matter” Education, Awareness, and ACTION Dinner benefits the national programs, direct patient services, and advocacy work of the EndBrainCancer initiative (EBCI).

The 2019 “Brains Matter” Dinner was sponsored by: Presenting Sponsor, AbbVie; Media Sponsor, Comcast Spotlight; National HOPE Award Sponsor, Novocure; Dessert Sponsor: HatchbuckJMS ConstructionUniversity of Florida HealthThe Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke; Corporate Partner, Store My Tumor.

Dellann Elliott Mydland
President & CEO
EndBrainCancer Initiative

ABOUT the EndBrainCancer Initiative The EndBrainCancer Initiative (EBCI, formerly the Chris Elliott Fund) is a national brain cancer and brain tumor patient advocacy and services organization and 501(c) 3 social enterprise with offices in Redmond, Washington. Established in 2002 and now celebrating 17 years of service, EBCI is committed to finding a cure for brain cancer and bringing HOPE to the lives of patients and their families through its programs:

  • “Direct Connect” Patient Support and Services Program
  • Brain Tumor Disease Education, Awareness, and Outreach Program
  • Brain Tumor Patient Advocacy and Access
  • First Step Initiative
  • Team Up Initiative

Since its founding, EBCI has helped thousands of patients, caregivers, and their families and has become a credible and trusted resource at all levels in the brain cancer treatment community from patients to research institutions to pharmaceutical and regulatory entities advocating on the National and State level for the approval and reimbursement of new therapies for cancer patients. EBCI also participates as the “Patient Voice” in clinical trial design, an example can be seen in CNS Oncology (Link to Article).

The EndBrainCancer Initiative (EBCI) also participates in a program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Center for Cancer Research (CCR), Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) called NCI-CONNECT  (Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors). The program aims to advance the understanding of rare adult central nervous system (CNS) cancers by establishing and fostering patient-advocacy-provider partnerships and networks to improve approaches to care and treatment.

EBCI supports about 900+ patients, caregivers and families, free of charge annually through its “Direct Connect” Program, and provide Education/Awareness/Outreach to over 8.7 million annually, including members of the Brain Tumor Community. EBCI is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO), American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Association for Cancer Research, and Life Sciences Washington, among other organizations.

If we can help, please contact us at WeCare(at)EndBrainCancer(dot)org or 425.444.2215. To support EBCI’s efforts, programs, and services, provide a gift today at

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Enhancing patient outcomes by expanding FDA-approved treatment modalities and fueling research in the pharma/bio/life sciences, device & diagnostic industries and by closing the existing GAP from initial diagnosis to IMMEDIATE AND EXPANDED ACCESS to specialists, researchers, advanced & innovative treatments, clinical trials and critical care with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes through updating and improving WHO & NCCN Guidelines and clinical practices related to Standard of Care for brain cancer patients.

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