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GBM AGILE: A Patient’s Perspective

 

Speech by NFCR President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Ba Sujuan at the Beijing GBM AGILE Press Conference

Brain cancer patients are remarkably courageous. So are their caregivers, families and friends. The financial and emotional burden to GBM patients and indeed all brain cancer patients is massive. Because of the debilitating effects many patients experience, they have more than their fair share of unmet needs in the system. Many GBM patients are children and adults in their prime. They don’t get funding, awareness or answers. They are way too young for us to fail them. It is unacceptable!

But brain cancer, we all know, is a very complex disease and it takes a focused global effort. Advancing humanity often means disrupting the status quo, which isn’t easy to do.

One of the big problems is that traditional trials leave patients and researchers in the dark for long periods of time about the impact of potential treatments.

But today, that is a past story, what has held GBM patients back, now propels them forward into the spotlight of precision medicine and personalized treatment.

GBM AGILE will change the situation completely, with a systematic approach to reveal potentially lifesaving treatments far faster than has ever been possible.

GBM AGILE has already served to unify scientists, clinicians, funders and patients providing not only with hope but choice. Hope in an unrealistic setting isn’t viable. Platforms and learning systems will give choice, and the science will give hope. That’s the distinction for GBM patients today.

GBM patients will be a demonstration to other patient groups to galvanise around one platform and learning system, one global vision AND a unified approach, country by country, making the best use of focused funds, time, and resources. It makes perfect sense.

GBM patients will be among the first patient groups in the world to benefit from this remarkable new approach. Patients will be front and center in the GBM AGILE platform and learning system. This is the era of emergent patient empowerment and the birth of a new system in cancer research.

Patients need treatments now, not in 20 years time. The platform cuts through a lot of red tape, and once a tipping point in understanding GBM is reached, it is set to achieve exponential, rather than incremental outcomes, in a compressed timeframe.

The Asian Fund for Cancer Research has been part of the coalition of the willing from the start, which has worked hard to enable Chinese Scientists to be part of the global working groups. We all share the same global vision and fierce compassion to radically change outcomes for patients, in China and around the world.

The power of multiple country collaboration means we can be innovative on an exponential scale. The science is with us, and the timing is perfect to make a real difference!

Through sheer human determination, GBM AGILE team leaders, including Dr. Anna Barker, Dr. Web Cavenee, Dr. Al Yung, Dr. Tao Jiang, Dr. Wenbin Li, and all of the team members, have stepped out of the status quo and are poised to achieve something truly transformative for GBM patients.

On behalf of all patients – past, present and future, thank you. This is the historic moment that together we will all succeed.

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