The Neuro-Oncology Program is one of the most well-known and oldest cancer programs at Duke, having celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012. The first to establish brain tumor research and clinical activities at Duke was Dr. Barnes Woodhall, who came to Duke from Johns Hopkins in 1937. As the second Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dr. W oodhall strongly supported brain tumor research and clinical activities, which has continued to this day with the recent designation of Neuro-Oncology as a Program of Distinction by Chancellor Victor Dzau, M.D. The program includes two leaders as well as 28 primary and 3 secondary members, a diverse group of basic, translational and clinical scientists and physician-scientists who represent 12 departments within the School of Medicine. The program funding portfolio includes two large infrastructure grants with Dr. Darell Bigner as principal investigator: an NCI Clinical Program Project Grant (P01); and the only fully funded Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute Grant, now in its 10th year. Program members hold a total of 11NCI-funded grants for a total of more than $3.8M in annual direct cost. Additional annual direct cost funding includes $1.7M in other NIH-funded awards, $1.3M in other peer-reviewed awards, $5M in foundation award and $3.4M non-peer-reviewed funding, for a total of more than $15.3M in annual research funding. Primary program members published more than 443 manuscripts during the funding period, 98% of which were intra-programmatic collaborations, 25% of which were inter-programmatic, and 33% were intra- programmatic and with external investigators. Research ranges from the most basic types of genomic research to epidemiology and causation efforts. As described within the Specific Aims of the Program, the following areas are the highlighted areas of research: basic genomics research; establishment of xenografts of all types of adult and pediatric brain tumors and using them to screen drugs and other agents; development of transgenic models of brain stem and other gliomas to identify driver oncogenes; development of oncolytic virotherapy of primary and metastatic CNS tumors with genetically recombinant poliovirus; development of peptide dendritic cell and other types of cell, and antibody-based immunotherapy; development of monoclonal antibodies, single fragment chain antibodies, and immunoconjugates with bacterial toxins and radioactivity; design and execution of Phase I, II, and III clinical trials; and molecular epidemiology studies to identify causation factors of malignant brain tumors. A final goal of the Neuro-Oncology Program is the maintenance of a brain tumor tissue bank, now in its 30th year of operation. The three technicians and neuro-pathologist overseeing this bank are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to collect adult and pediatric brain tumor tissue, as well as blood and serum matched with the cases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Duke University
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