PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer, a disease that has taken the lives of prominent Americans including Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Beau Biden.

It’s also affected tens of thousands of average Americans — including my own mother Anne, who died of glioblastoma 20 years ago this summer, just six weeks after she’d been diagnosed.

For decades scientists have struggled to make progress against the disease, often thwarted by the brain’s own natural defense mechanisms. But experts in Providence — including Dr. Heinrich Elinzano of the Lifespan Cancer Institute and Professor Sean Lawler of Brown University’s Legorreta Cancer Center — are among those working on cutting-edge research they hope could lead to a breakthrough.

In the above video, 12 News reporter Ted Nesi talks with Dr. Elinzano and Professor Lawler about why glioblastoma is so challenging for physicians and what potential avenues for treatment give them the most optimism.