“New research by investigators at the University of California, San Francisco and the Children’s National Health System, has provided early evidence that liquid biopsy testing could help doctors monitor how well treatments are working in kids with diffuse midline gliomas.
“Brain cancers present a challenge for longitudinal monitoring, because obtaining repeat biopsy samples is dangerous and difficult. But liquid biopsy techniques have now opened the possibility of tracking these and other tumors over time based on analysis of tumor genetic material that is shed into the blood or other body fluids.”
“In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Grill et al found that the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to radiotherapy plus temozolomide (RT + TMZ) did not improve event-free survival in pediatric patients with newly diagnosed high-grade glioma.
“In the international open-label study, 121 patients aged 3 to 18 years with localized nonbrainstem disease from 51 sites in 14 countries were randomized between October 2011 and February 2015 to receive RT + TMZ with (n = 62) or without (n = 59) bevacizumab 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks. RT + TMZ consisted of RT at 1.8 Gy 5 days per week and TMZ at 75 mg/m2 per day for 6 weeks followed by a 4 weeks off, then up to twelve 28-day cycles at 150 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 5 in cycle 1 and 200 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 5 in cycles 2 to 12. The primary endpoint was event-free survival on blinded central radiology review. Results are reported as of 12 months after the enrollment of the last patient.”
“Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are conducting the first clinical trials to evaluate the potential of a pinworm medication for the treatment of children and adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
“Mebendazole has been used for more than 40 years to treat parasitic infections.
“Although the medication requires further testing in patients with cancer, results of a phase 1 trial have shown the medication is safe for and tolerated by adults with glioblastoma. An additional phase 1 trial is underway to assess the agent in children.”
“The most common type of malignant childhood brain cancer has been identified as seven separate conditions each needing a different treatment, new research has revealed.
“A study by Newcastle and Northumbria universities has found that childhood medulloblastoma can be separated into seven different subgroups which all have their own biological and clinical characteristics.”
“A team of investigators has determined that young children participating in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of reduced radiotherapy did worse when there were deviations from the treatment protocol. Results of the study will be available online in advance of publication by Pediatric Blood & Cancer on April 4.
” ‘This study shows that attention to the timing, dose, and location of radiation therapy is crucial,’ Kenneth K. Wong, MD, a radiation oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and first author on the study.
“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.”
“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.”