6th Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure is Oct. 25

CINCINNATI - Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure, the largest regional fundraiser for brain tumor education and research, will be held Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, at Sawyer Point.

All proceeds from the sixth annual event will support research and education at the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and UC Cancer Institute, joint initiatives of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. Researchers at the UC Brain Tumor Center are using Walk Ahead funds to study 1) the major pathways used by cancer genes; 2) the specific proteins that play a role in the spread of cancer cells; and 3) the compounds that inhibit the ability of cancer cells to utilize energy.

Last year's Walk Ahead drew 3,200 participants from 20 states and raised more than $300,000, bringing the event's cumulative fund-raising total to more than $1 million. Event co-chairs are brothers Brian Wiles and Joe Wiles.

Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure
Last year's Walk Ahead drew 3,200 participants from 20 states and raised more than $300,000, bringing the event's cumulative fund-raising total to more than $1 million.

"Walk Ahead has grown rapidly and is playing an ever-larger role in our ability to fund promising basic science research," says Ronald Warnick, MD, a Mayfield Clinic neurosurgeon who is Medical Director of the UC Brain Tumor Center and the John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology. "One pilot cancer study funded by Walk Ahead recently led to a $1.67 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

"We are privileged to serve as stewards of the walk's donations," Dr. Warnick adds. "Our translational researchers are working hard to convert molecular discoveries into therapies that can prolong our patients' lives and improve quality of life."

Brain tumors are not uncommon. The American Brain Tumor Association estimates that 70,000 primary brain tumors (those that originate in the brain) are diagnosed each year, about 35 percent of which are malignant. The incidence of metastatic brain tumors (those that have spread from another part of the body) is far higher, with more than 170,000 cases diagnosed each year.

Brian Wiles, a member of the UC Brain Tumor Center's Community Advisory Council, reports that the Walk Ahead quilt, constructed from team members' T-shirts, has been rebuilt and will be on display again. The quilt, now 11 feet by 10 ½ feet in size, will feature a new border made from more than 20 shirts donated last year. "Each shirt in the quilt represents a personal story of courage and determination in the journey to bring an end to this challenging disease," Mr. Wiles says.

Walk Ahead will feature a 5k chip-timed run, beginning at 8 a.m., and a 5k walk that will follow at 8:45. The wheelchair-accessible route starts and finishes at Sawyer Point Park and will include a stroll across the Purple People Bridge. The celebratory walk/run will feature music and refreshments.

To register, donate or volunteer, please visit www.walkahead.org. For sponsorship information, contact Bethany Christie at (513) 558-6903 or Bethany.christie@uc.edu.

The UC Brain Tumor Center treats patients with complex tumors of the brain, head, neck and central nervous system. The center's multidisciplinary team includes specialists in radiation oncology, neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, otolaryngology, neuro-ophthalmology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, restorative medicine, neuropathology, neuroradiology and integrative medicine. Ongoing collaboration among expert team members at a weekly Multidisciplinary Tumor Board Conference, combined with state-of-the-art technology, ensures the best possible treatment for patients with primary or metastatic brain tumors.