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DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University Medical Center has received a $10 million gift from the Preston Robert Tisch family of New York, N.Y., to support cancer research at the Brain Tumor Center at Duke and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Victor Dzau, M.D., Chancellor for Health Affairs and President and CEO of the Duke University Health System, announced Wednesday. This is the single largest gift ever received by the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Preston Robert Tisch is chairman of Loews Corporation and chairman and co-owner of the New York Giants football organization.
Of the $10 million gift, $5 million will be used to fund basic and translational research of promising new brain tumor drugs and to support brain tumor clinical trials. This gift, in part, extends the translational program that Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) created with Duke in 2002 to accelerate potentially life-saving drugs from the laboratory to the clinic in an effort to save patients with brain tumors.
The other $5 million will be used to create the Preston Robert Tisch Cancer Investigators' Fund, which will be used to recruit promising new cancer researchers to Duke. Duke University Medical Center will contribute an additional $5 million toward the Investigators' Fund.
In recognition of the gift, the Brain Tumor Center at Duke will be renamed The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.
"The benevolence of the Preston Robert Tisch family will have an enormous impact upon the search for new brain tumor treatments and we are indebted to them for their generosity," Dzau said. "Their contribution will enable Duke to recruit and retain the brightest researchers and will create tremendous promise for all cancer research at Duke."
Henry Friedman, M.D., co-leader of the Brain Tumor Center at Duke, called Preston Robert Tisch "a great humanitarian and an accomplished leader," and said the center is proud to bear his name. "This wonderful show of support will allow Duke to continue its leadership in the eradication of all types of cancer," Friedman said.
"It is my hope that people all across the globe suffering from brain tumors will be the beneficiaries of our gift," said Preston Robert Tisch.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Tisch's son Steve added, "We are pleased to contribute to Duke's cutting-edge research and treatments to enable the Brain Tumor Center to take its work to the next level. In New York, we have had a long-term commitment to the NYU Medical Center, which is making great strides in health care; now, we are pleased to add our support to Duke, which has been doing exemplary work in the battle against brain tumors."
Steve Tisch is a new member of the board of the Duke Brain Tumor Center.
The Brain Tumor Center at Duke, established in 1937, was one of the first brain tumor research and clinical programs in the U.S. and has one of the leading pediatric and adult neuro-oncology programs in the world. The center was the first in the nation designated as a Specialized Research Center for Malignant Gliomas and Medulloblastomas by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and continues to make major advances in curing brain and spinal tumors. In 2004, Duke was awarded one of only four Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) awards in brain cancer in the nation from the National Cancer Institute. Currently, more than 2,000 patients from around the world are treated at the center.