The Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas (BTFC), is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2003 by Charlotte neurosurgeon, Dr. Tony Asher and retired Bank of America executive, Jim Palermo. The Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the impact of brain tumors and to providing support for the development of treatment strategies and cooperative biomedical research related to brain tumors in the Charlotte region.
Cancer is one of the great public health challenges of our time. Over 1.2 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed each year in the United States. Brain tumors are a particularly devastating form of cancer and are remarkably prevalent in society, developing in up to 25% of all cancer patients. In the Charlotte area alone, approximately 1,200 people will develop all forms of brain tumors each year. There exists a 1 in 200 lifetime risk for any individual of dying from a brain tumor. Brain cancer is the leading cause of death in children and young adults up to age 34, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among those older than 65.
In addition to robbing individuals of life, brain tumors are a significant source of morbidity, often depriving patients of the capabilities that define the very essence of human existence, including thought, personality, emotion, language and memory. Virtually all cancers possess the potential to spread to the brain, and brain recurrence often confounds systemic cancer therapies.
The BTFC is committed to facilitating the development of strategic cooperative relationships between traditional academic and community brain tumor programs. In that regard, the BTFC will provide support each year to important basic science and clinical research efforts involving local brain tumor clinicians and leading university centers. By encouraging clinicians in a variety of practice setings to combine their unique resources, the BTFC seeks to create opportunities for the development of novel treatment options for brain tumor patients and their families.