Putting Brain Metastases On Notice

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos’ research is focused on brain metastases.

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl.

How could you not when you grow up hearing inspiring stories about your strong and courageous grandmother who diagnosed herself with breast cancer while in medical school? Unfortunately, her grandmother’s breast cancer metastasized to the spine and she passed away at the young age of 29. This great loss inspired Priscilla to pursue a career in cancer research. While in medical school, Priscilla’s mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in her 40s. The difficult journey of the surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation began, creating trepidation and fear. “As the disease progressed, I threw myself into metastatic research to try to discover ways to help my mom,” she recalls. Sadly, her mom passed away. “While I lost the race against her illness, I’m still fighting for all the other patients that have metastatic cancer.” These personal experiences fuel Dr. Brastianos’ dedication to keep searching for answers to help the 200,000-300,000 people diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer each year.

Before she died, my mom said she wanted me to find better treatment options. So, that’s what really drives me every day, knowing that I’m doing what I promised her I would do.

An oncologist working at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Brastianos not only cares for patients with metastatic disease, but she also aggressively pursues brain metastasis research.

As a former recipient of the American Brain Tumor Association’s research grant program, Dr. Brastianos is now collaborating with the ABTA to explore the unmet needs of patients and caregivers impacted by metastatic disease. The ABTA’s Metastatic Brain Tumor Initiative seeks to better understand the needs of medical professionals, as well as patients and caregivers. The ABTA aims to use these insights to address gaps across patient education and support.

Through the generous support of donors, the ABTA’s grant program continues to support researchers to pursue brain tumor research. With more than $32 million invested in brain tumor research, the ABTA is dedicated to ensuring researchers have the resources they need to fight this unforgiving disease.

Help continue the American Brain Tumor Association legacy of advancing brain tumor research through the funding of early-career scientists.

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Mindee Plugues


Mindee J. Plugues, of Los Angeles, CA, is vice president, marketing for the Applebee’s brand and brings skills including brand strategy, executive leadership, and marketing to the board. Plugues has been an ABTA donor since April 2001, following her father’s passing from GBM. She is also a former member of the ABTA endurance program, Team Breakthrough.

Bob Kruchten


Bob Kruchten, of Mount Prospect, IL, is a sales manager at Extreme Reach, a leading advertising technology company. He has strong skills in communications and fundraising, and has been advocating for the ABTA for 19 years in tribute to his best friend, Paul Fabbri, who lost his 10-year battle with GBM in 1998. Kruchten accepted the ABTA’s Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award in 2015 on behalf of the Paul Fabbri Memorial Fund.