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Sence Foundation Gift Advances Brain Tumor Research Sence Foundation Gift Advances Brain Tumor Research
Board member David Hyde
and Mitchel Berger, MD
A $100,000 gift from the Sence Foundation to the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery will help further research that promises a major breakthrough in developing treatments for brain tumors.

Lack of a suitable model of a human brain tumor has hindered research thus far, according to Mitchel Berger, MD, department chair and director of the world-renowned UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center (BTRC). Because current models are far less genetically complex and less reproducible, they do not mimic how human brain tumors behave or respond to therapy. "It's one of the missing pieces of the puzzle," explains Berger.

Now, with aid from the Sence donation, the BTRC is developing a far better model. This "human serial xenograft system" is more effective in predicting human brain tumor behavior, allowing doctors to test advanced new therapies and potentially tailor them for individual patients.

"I am extremely excited about this research," says Berger, an expert in treating brain and spinal cord tumors for both adults and children. "We are stepping up the pace in our fight against brain tumors. The award from the Sence Foundation will benefit us enormously in finding powerful new therapeutic strategies for patients."

The gift is the largest that the Visalia-based Foundation has awarded to any organization. Founded in Burbank in 1958 by Ray Sence, a feed and supply business owner and real-estate investor, and his wife Grace, the Sence Foundation mainly supports education, general health care, and children's health. It has donated generously to UCSF for more than 10 years, including numerous gifts to the BTRC, the Cancer Research Institute, and the Fetal Treatment Center.

For more information or to support the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center, contact Ann Carollo at 415/502-2404 or
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