In 2010, college sophomore Elizabeth Minter was diagnosed with gliomatosis cerebri (GC), a very rare brain tumor that is difficult to treat. At the time of her diagnosis, the scientific community knew very little about her tumor type, leaving her with no treatment options. Before it took her life, Elizabeth and her family worked with neurosurgeon and researcher Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield to launch Elizabeth’s Hope. The initiative became the cornerstone for launching a laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine dedicated to the exploration of rare, inoperable, and often incurable pediatric brain tumors that is now called the Children’s Brain Tumor Proejct.
Why Elizabeth’s Hope is Important
Elizabeth’s Hope funds a groundbreaking research initiative offering neuroscientists at the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center the unprecedented ability to identify the unique molecular characteristics of their patients’ brain tumors. Each patient’s tumor’s mutations are different. Knowing the specific molecular “fingerprint” of the tumor allows physicians to prescribe a customized tumor therapy designed to produce the best outcome. This personalized tumor therapy is the key to finding cures for rare brain tumors like gliomatosis cerebri, the cancer that claimed Elizabeth’s life in May 2012.
We welcome you to watch this video tribute to Elizabeth’s Hope from Weill Cornell Medicine’s team of neuroscientists at the Children’s Brain Tumor Project: