Chibawanye Ene, a Nigerian-born doctor, has won the 2019 Ronald L. Bittner Award on brain tumor research.
According to the Applied Radiation Oncology, a quarterly journal on cancer, Ene received the award at the 2019 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) annual scientific meeting which held from April 13 to April 17 in San Diego, US.
Ene, 37, hails from Akpugo in Nkanu west local government area of Enugu state. He won the award with his research work titled: “Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapy Enhances Radiation-induced Abscopal Response in Glioblastoma”.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord with symptoms ranging from headaches to personality changes, nausea, and incontinence.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps immune system fight cancer, although it has been largely unsuccessful in the treatment of Glioblastoma.
According to the journal, the molecular structure of the tumor found in that form of cancer only allows few of the cancerous cells to be eliminated during treatment.
The new findings in Ene’s research have shown promise for better treatment options, revealing that “radiation combined with Anti PD L1 therapy induces an immunological response to unirradiated glioblastoma”.
“The researchers are currently optimizing other treatment combinations that could also be readily assessed in phase I human clinical trials,” the journal said.
Endowed by E. Laurie Bittner in memory of her husband, the Ronald L. Bittner Award is given out yearly for the best abstract paper on brain tumor research submitted by a resident doctor or junior faculty member in the US.