Glioblastoma Clinical Trial Shows Combined Therapy Extends Life for Patients 65 and Older

Excerpt:

“Treating older patients who have malignant brain cancer with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy extends survival by two months compared to treating with radiation alone, show clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“For 45% of the study participants, improved survival almost doubled — from 7 months to 13.5 months, says co-principal investigator Normand Laperriere, radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network. This was linked to a molecular marker that indicated if a DNA repair mechanism against the drug was active. When the mechanism was ‘off,’ tumours responded better to treatment.”

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Leading Cancer Organizations: Trump’s Proposed NIH Budget Cuts Will Threaten Research, Patient Care

Excerpt:

“Many of the nation’s leading research organizations and cancer centers have voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which includes a $5.8 billion cut to NIH funding in 2018.

“The budget ‘blueprint’ — released Thursday — proposes $54 billion in cuts overall, including a 16.2% decrease, or $12.6 billion, for the Department of Health and Human Services.”

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ASCO Statement: President’s Budget Will Devastate U.S. Research Enterprise

Excerpt:

“ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, released the following statement today:

” ‘We soundly oppose President Trump’s budget outline, which would cut $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Reducing NIH’s funding by nearly 20% will devastate our nation’s already-fragile federal research infrastructure and undercut a longstanding commitment to biomedical science that has fueled advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

” ‘When we are on the cusp of tremendous advances in cancer care, the United States can’t turn back the clock on research that will benefit millions of Americans with life-threatening diseases and their families. Gutting the U.S. research infrastructure won’t make America First, but will decidedly place the United States behind other countries in scientific advances. Failure to nurture the historic U.S. investment in research places health outcomes, scientific leadership, and economic growth at risk.’ ”

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AACR Strongly Opposes the Draconian Cuts to Medical Research Proposed in President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

Excerpt:

“On behalf of the entire cancer research community, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) was shocked to learn that the Trump administration is proposing to cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in fiscal year (FY) 2018.  At a time when extraordinary progress is being made against cancer and many other diseases, these draconian cuts would set research back for decades and also threaten the careers of an entire generation of young investigators working in labs and clinics all over the country who are committed to improving public health and saving lives.”

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Short RT Plus Chemo Benefits Older Brain Cancer Patients

Excerpt:

“Adding temozolomide chemotherapy to short-course radiotherapy for older patients with glioblastoma was tied to longer progression-free and overall survival than with a short course of radiotherapy alone, researchers found.

“In a randomized controlled trial of glioblastoma patients ages 65 and up, those on combination therapy had a significantly lower risk of death during the study than those who had only radiation (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56-0.80, P<0.001), James Perry, MD, of Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

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Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting Shows Diverse Treatment Options Emerging for Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“The Annual Scientific Meeting and Education Day of the Society for Neuro-Oncology — held in November in Scottsdale, Arizona — featured data from key studies on targeted therapies and immunotherapies.

“These data will open the door to new research, and they also offer promise of new therapeutic options for patients with glioblastoma.”

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Promising New Strategy to Attack the Most Lethal Brain Tumor in Children

Excerpt:

“Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago have revealed new insight into how the most deadly pediatric brain tumor, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), may develop. They also have identified a compound that targets the ‘on’ switch for cancer-promoting genes, which resulted in shrinking tumor size and increased survival in an animal model of DIPG. Preparations for a clinical trial at Lurie Children’s are now under way.”

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Clinical Trials Test Treatments for High-Grade Brain Tumors


With a few exceptions, glioblastoma (GBM) remains largely incurable, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved few treatments for the disease. Surgery (when feasible), radiation, and temozolomide are used in most patients. But even if a newly diagnosed tumor can be surgically excised, recurrences are too common.

In this blog post, I simply list some of the new treatments available in clinical trials for GBM and other high-grade brain tumors. Only drugs that have at least some preliminary results of activity are included, and the list is not meant to be fully comprehensive. The interested reader can judge for herself what might be of interest, keeping in mind that no single treatment is suitable or will work for all GBM patients. Continue reading…


Study Finds No Evidence of Common Herpes Type Virus in Aggressive Brain Cancer Tissue

Excerpt:

“In a rigorous study of tumor tissue collected from 125 patients with aggressive brain cancers, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have found no evidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and conclude that a link between the two diseases, as claimed by earlier reports, likely does not exist.

“The Johns Hopkins team cautioned that studies to confirm this finding are needed to absolutely rule out any role for the common CMV in glioblastoma and other cancers that arise in neurological support cells called glial cells. But they say their study substantially weakens the likelihood of that role.

” ‘We have found no evidence of CMV in these tissues, and if there is no virus, targeting that virus to affect cancer using antiviral drugs or tailored vaccines doesn’t make biological sense,’ says Angelo M. De Marzo, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology, oncology and urology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.”

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