“…we will actually take on this disease, GBM, and brain tumors overall, and I’m very optimistic that we will see some huge changes in the next five to ten years…” -Dr. Anna Barker

Through research collaboration, four (4) synergistic projects focused on discovery, drug development, predictive biomarkers, and systems biology will be combined and driven by teams with proven track records of results to accelerate the pace of therapeutic discovery and improve patient survival. By design, the individual projects within the overall Defeat GBM initiative will provide better and strategic data-sharing opportunities to inform the overall effort, and advance potential therapies down the drug discovery pipeline more quickly.


Led by Ludwig Cancer Research, San Diego and UCSD

The goal is to identify the right treatment target(s) and understand any associated resistance mechanisms (i.e. how the tumors escape or resist treatment). Targets identified here will then be triaged into each of the other three projects to help understand how to overcome drug resistance in GBM.

Drug Development

Led by University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The goal is to accelerate drug development by identifying existing molecules/drugs that can be applied specifically to GBM, both on their own and in rational combination, as well as develop novel drugs (at MD Anderson) specifically for GBM. Simultaneous work in the discovery and biomarker projects will aid the team in matching and creating drugs for different patients and different molecular targets.

Predictive Markers (biomarkers)

Led by Ludwig Cancer Research, San Diego and UCSD

The goal is to develop predictive marker panels to guide therapy – including combination therapy – for each patient based on the molecular composition of their tumor. These discoveries will then be used to better inform the simultaneous drug discovery project stated above – as any markers that are identified as predicating resistance will be screened by the MD Anderson team for drugs or rational combinations of drug that can be put together to defeat the particular resistance.

Systems Biology

Led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

The goal is to better understand the molecular and biological response to clinical inhibitors at the systems level to develop rational combination therapies. Inhibitors screened in this project will help supplement observations made in all other projects.