Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Network Partners with UWM App Brewery for Brain Cancer Patients

Milwaukee, Wis. — Designed and built in Milwaukee, the NIMBLE app is changing how doctors treat individuals who have cancer that has spread to the brain. Almost any type of cancer can spread (metastasize) to the brain. Historically, people with such brain tumors did not have an extended survival prognosis due to limited treatment options. Now, treatment demands neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, cognitive specialists and many others who work together in a meeting called a tumor board to plan the most effective treatment.

NIMBLE stands for Network for the Integrated Management of Brain Metastasis Linking Experts. It is the brainchild of two experts with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Network: Joseph Bovi, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) associate professor; and Christopher Schultz, MD, FACR, FASTRO, MCW professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology. They collaborated with UW-Milwaukee’s App Brewery to create the app. UWM's App Brewery is a mobile innovation laboratory in which students design, develop, support and host mobile apps for the Milwaukee research community.

In early 2020, the Froedtert & MCW Cancer Network will be one of the first in the nation to launch a multidisciplinary program just for caring for people whose cancer has metastasized to the brain. Specialists see about 10 times the number of brain metastasis patients versus patients with primary brain cancer (cancer that started in the brain). The program will be supported by the NIMBLE app, which will be free for doctors and available on iOS and Android operating systems.

"Today, the survival and quality of life of people with brain metastasis is improving due to developments in precision, image-guided radiation, targeted therapies and immunotherapies," Dr. Bovi said. "With NIMBLE, we're taking it one step further by providing faster access to the experts and resources needed to treat brain metastases. People who have brain metastases often cannot wait days for treatment recommendations. Creating NIMBLE was central to launching our Brain Metastasis Program and addressing the individual complexity of care for these patients. This app functions as a virtual tumor board that is always available for real-time, doctor-to-doctor discussions. With NIMBLE, we will offer data-driven treatment recommendations delivered within hours as opposed to days with references to data and publications that support those recommendations. We expect NIMBLE to make treatment options more accessible and to accelerate the treatment path for patients who need it."

"This powerful, innovative partnership is multifaceted," UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. "Brain tumor patients receive a new level of personalized care. UWM provides essential experiential opportunities to our undergraduate students through the App Brewery. And, the entire region benefits from the collaborative, entrepreneurial work that generates products like NIMBLE."

About University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Recognized as one of the nation’s 131 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 26,000 students from 91 countries on a budget of $689 million. Its 15 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2020 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, The Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Central Wisconsin. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In the last ten years, faculty received more than $1.5 billion in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,600 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than $2.8 million patients annually.

About Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin regional health network is a partnership between Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin supporting a shared mission of patient care, innovation, medical research and education. Our health network operates eastern Wisconsin's only academic medical center and adult Level I Trauma Center at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, an internationally recognized training and research center engaged in thousands of clinical trials and studies. The Froedtert & MCW health network, which includes five hospitals, nearly 2,000 physicians and more than 40 health centers and clinics, draws patients from throughout the Midwest and the nation. In our most recent fiscal year, outpatient visits exceeded 1.3 million, inpatient admissions to our hospitals were 52,855 and visits to our network physicians totaled 1,059,268.

Media Contacts

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network
Gerry Steele, O: 414-805-3057, C: 414-217-3013,

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Michelle L. Johnson, O: 414-229-7490, C: 910-508-6758,

Medical College of Wisconsin
Holly Botsford, O: 414.955.8761, C: 414.688.7960,

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