IRB &research

An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee established to review and approve research involving human subjects with the purpose of ensuring that all human subject research be conducted in accordance with all federal, institutional, and ethical guidelines.

BTF’s Research Initiative

greybarWe must keep up the momentum – providing free brain scans to more and more places, reaching more and more people and communities, continuing to search for more successful paths to treatment, and, our greatest hope to some day finding a cure.

With nationwide participation and support, BTF’s Road to Early Detection campaign is an official research study in adherence with IRB mandates confirming that our study is in accordance with federal, institutional and ethical guidelines.

In collaboration with a multidisciplinary research team at Columbia University Medical Center, NY Presbyterian Hospital and the Mailman School for Public Health comprised of experts in oncology, cancer epidemiology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery and neurology, BTF is gathering key information to help us better understand the relationship between patient factors and brain tumors.

Within this research, BTF will:

  • Determine the prevalence of malignant astrocytomas and gliomas in an asymptomatic population of 3,000 adults and describe these findings as a function of age, race/ethnicity and gender.
  • Identify the clinical characteristics, especially size and stage, of all detected astrocytomas and gliomas.
  • Determine the prevalence of incidental findings, including other benign and central nervous system lesions (meningioma, aneurysm, and other tumors), vascular and structural abnormalities, and extracranial findings detectable by MRI.
  • Follow patients with abnormal and acute findings for outcomes.

MRI brain scans are completely safe, painless, emit no radiation and are non-invasive. They are also used to detect the early signs of other diseases or abnormalities such as MS, Alzheimer’s and aneurysms. In addition to saving lives, prevention and early detection have the potential to reduce the financial burden of disease through the reduction of treatment costs.

We hope that our research examining the scans of thousands of individuals around the country will make MRI brain scans part of standard, preventative care.

The Findings

LEVELS DEFINED: 
Level 1:  Normal
Level 2:  Medically minor
Level 3:  Abnormal, requires expedited medical evaluation
Level 4:  Medical Emergency; requires immediate follow up testing

There were a combined 4.1% of Level 3/Level 4 findings which indicate abnormal/acute findings that require immediate medical attention. These abnormalities include aneurysm, pineal cyst, chronic microvascular ischemic disease, hydrocephalus and ‘unspecified’ mass or infiltrating lesion. Findings like these are most significant, as the conditions may not be clinically apparent, or may be associated with vague or confusing symptoms.

It is here that the greatest benefit of screening is likely to be found.

Although MRI scans to screen for brain tumors are not considered part of standard preventive care, we hope that our research examining the brain scans of thousands of individuals around the country will shed new light on prevention of this dreaded disease and make treatment more effective when caught early.

The response from each city was overwhelming and greatly encouraging. Within minutes of announcing on TV and radio news, as well as through social media outlets about the Mobile Unit’s visit, all of the appointments for the week were filled. The staff worked diligently to accommodate the dozens of walk-ins each day who eagerly lined up outside the Mobile MRI Unit.

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