Targeted Treatment May Be Feasible in Pediatric Brain Tumors

Excerpt:

“Results from a large clinical study showed that testing pediatric brain tumors for genetic abnormalities is feasible and could play a role in guiding patients’ treatment.

“The study, published in Neuro-Oncology, showed that more than half of the samples taken from pediatric brain tumors and analyzed using genomic profiling had genetic irregularities that could influence how the disease was diagnosed or treated with approved drugs or agents being evaluated in clinical trials.”

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Lasers Help Doctors Remove Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“Lasers can help surgeons rapidly analyse brain cancers and decide how much tissue to remove, a study shows.

“It is a difficult decision as taking too little leads to the cancer coming back, while too much could lead to disability.

“The technique, called SRS microscopy, has been tried on more than 360 patients at the University of Michigan Medical School and Harvard University.”

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Why Doctors May Keep a Patient Awake for Brain Surgery

Excerpt:

“Anthony Munoz has a brain tumor that is not cancerous.

“Neurosurgeon Dr. Jennifer Moliterno, who specializes in brain tumors, is focused on the massive one just above his left temple.

” ‘The more tumor you remove the better outcome the patient has,’ said Moliterno.

“Taking a more aggressive approach like Awake Craniotomy, Dr. Moliterno says, is a growing trend among those experienced, armed with high-tech tools, all done with the patient’s safety in mind.”

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Scientists Identify Key Defect in Brain Tumor Cells

Excerpt:

“In a new study, Yale researchers identified a novel genetic defect that prevents brain tumor cells from repairing damaged DNA. They found that the defect is highly sensitive to an existing FDA-approved drug used to treat ovarian cancer—a discovery that challenges current practice for treatment of brain tumors and other cancers with the same genetic defect, said the scientists.

“The study was published on Feb. 1 by Science Translational Medicine.

“Certain and leukemias have mutations in genes known as IDH1 and IDH2. The mutations render the cancers sensitive to treatment with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, significantly increasing the survival time for patients with the mutations. To better understand this sensitivity, a cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by Yale created models of the mutation in cell cultures.”

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Press Release: Sheri Sobrato Brisson and Eric Brisson Join Cancer Commons to Find Better Treatment Options for Children with Brain Cancer

Sheri Sobrato Brisson (Photo by Irene Searles for InMenlo.com; used
with permission)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Los Altos, California – January 25, 2017 – Cancer Commons, a nonprofit network of physicians, scientists and patients dedicated to helping each patient achieve the best possible outcome, announces the launch of a new program to identify personalized treatment options for children with brain cancer. The program is funded by a generous lead gift from Sheri Sobrato Brisson, a pediatric brain tumor survivor and advocate for children with serious illness, and her husband Eric Brisson.

“We are motivated to help children with brain cancer by giving their physicians and families access to the best treatment plans,” shares Sheri Sobrato Brisson. “Diagnosis is a frightening time, and patients and their families need help to quickly sort through vast, confusing amounts of information to assure them that they are making the best possible choices.” Continue reading…


New Study Aims to Extend TTFields Beyond Grade IV Brain Cancer Domain

Excerpt:

“The use of tumor treating fields (TTFields) as a treatment for patients with brain tumors has, thus far, largely been focused on in glioblastoma, but an upcoming trial aims to expand the use of the device to the grade III patient population, says Daniel O’Connell, MD.

“Currently, the device is only FDA approved for use in grade IV brain tumors, but O’Connell, a neuro-oncologist at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, anticipates the FDA will grant its approval for use in grade III tumors within the next 2 to 3 months.”

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NCCN Publishes Patient Education Resources for Gliomas—Its First in a Series on Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“January 9, 2017) The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has published the NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and NCCN Quick Guide™ sheets for Brain Cancer – Gliomas—the first in a series of patient education resources focused on Brain Cancer. Published by NCCN through support of the NCCN Foundation®, and, in part through funding from NCCN Foundation’s Team Pound the Pavement for Patients, these resources inform patients about their disease and the treatment options available to them.”

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Attacking Glioblastoma by Combining Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors with Gene Therapy Looks Promising

Excerpt:

“Attacking an aggressive brain tumor with immunostimulatory gene therapy while enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight it with immune checkpoint inhibitors might be a promising approach to treat patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a brain tumor currently associated with a very poor prognosis.

“The findings from the study, “Immunosuppressive Myeloid Cells’ Blockade in the Glioma Microenvironment Enhances the Efficacy of Immune-Stimulatory Gene Therapy,” published in Molecular Therapy, revealed that combining both these approaches in glioblastoma mice models significantly extended their survival, compared to either treatment alone.”

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New Kind of Cancer Study Finds New Targets for Tailored Treatments

“A new kind of cancer study supports the idea that traditional treatment can be turned on its head, with patients given targeted therapy based not on where their tumors started but on their own genetic mutations.

“Researchers used a targeted melanoma drug to treat patients with a range of cancers, from lung cancer to brain cancer, who weren’t being helped by traditional chemotherapy any more. Even though they had many different types of tumors, they all had one thing in common — a genetic mutation called BRAFV600.

“It’s a mutation familiar to doctors who treat melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s seen in about half of melanoma cases. A pill called vemurafenib, sold under the brand name Zelboraf, specifically targets the mutation. It helps about half of patients with melanoma who have the mutation.

“The same mutation is sometimes seen in colon cancer, lung cancer, thyroid cancer, brain tumors and some blood cancers.”