Study Splits Incurable Childhood Brain Tumors Into 10 New Diseases

Excerpt:

“Scientists have found that deadly childhood brain tumours are actually 10 different diseases that should each be diagnosed and treated based on their specific genetic faults.

“The major new study has important implications for treatment, since personalising care for each type of   is likely to be much more effective than grouping them all together as one.

“A team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found stark differences among ‘s ‘high grade’ , or gliomas, and that they could be split into at least 10 different cancers.”

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Potential Treatment for Brain Cancer as Drug Shrinks Tumours

Excerpt:

“An international team of researchers has found a drug previously approved to treat breast cancer could also be used to shrink medulloblastoma, a common form of childhood brain tumour.

“The discovery, made by The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, has led to a clinical trial using the drug palbociclib to treat children with medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumour found in children.”

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Researchers Assess Pinworm Medication for Adults, Children With Glioblastoma

Excerpt:

“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.”

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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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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…


How Precision Medicine Could Be A Lifesaver For Kids With Brain Cancer

Excerpt:

“A team of Dana-Farber scientists has released new research with an important message about precision medicine: Sequencing the genes of brain tumors in kids could point to treatments that target their genetic abnormalities and therefore have the best chance of being effective. At least one of those drugs is already on the market, Novartis’ Tafinlar (dabrafenib), approved by the FDA to treat other types of cancer but still readily available to pediatric oncologists who may want to try it in their patients.”

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A Downward Trend for New Cases of Pediatric Melanoma

“Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that has been increasing in incidence in adults over the past 40 years. Although pediatric melanoma is rare (5-6 children per million), most studies indicate that incidence has been increasing. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers found that the incidence of pediatric melanoma in the United States actually has decreased from 2004-2010.

“Laura B. Campbell, MD, and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registries, which represent approximately 28% of the US population, to identify new cases of pediatric melanoma from 2000-2010. According to Dr. Campbell, “We took an in-depth look at whether or not the number of new cases of melanoma per year in children and adolescents was increasing in the recent decade.” They also studied how rates changed over time according to age, sex, type of melanoma, and its location on the body.

“A total of 1,185 new cases of pediatric melanoma were identified. Overall, the number of new cases each year decreased by 12% per year from 2004-2010. For boys, there was a decrease of almost 7% each year (2000-2010); in 15-19-year-olds, there was a decrease of 11% each year (2003-2010). Additionally, new cases of pediatric melanoma located on the trunk and upper extremities, as well as cases with good prognostic indicators, both decreased significantly each year.”


MRD May Guide Augmented Post-Remission Treatment in Pediatric ALL

Editor’s note: In a recent study, scientists compared two different post-remission treatments for children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had only a small number of cancerous cells left in the body (minimal residual disease, MRD) after initial treatment (remission induction therapy). The scientists found that patients who received an augmented post-remission treatment, compared to the standard one, experienced better outcomes. However, these patients also had worse side effects. Ongoing clinical trials will reveal more about improved post-remission treatment and reduction of side effects.

Excerpt:

“Children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who had minimal residual disease at the end of remission induction therapy demonstrated improved outcomes with augmented post-remission therapy compared with standard treatment, according to study results.

“However, patients who received augmented therapy experienced higher rates of adverse events, results showed.”


Pediatric ALL Protocols Have Low Risk of Late Effects

Bone marrow from a 3-year-old ALL patient

“Long-term outcomes of patients treated for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with modern treatment protocols are good, with an overall low risk for serious long-term side effects, according to the results of report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort.

“ ‘This data will be useful for oncologists counseling newly diagnosed patients, and provides reassurance that the ‘devastating’ diagnosis of ALL can often have good short- and long-term outcomes,’ study author Paul C. Nathan, MD, of the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, told Cancer Network.

“With survival rates of childhood ALL at about 90%, researchers and clinicians have to focus not only on curing the disease, but on the quality of that cure and its long-term adverse effects.”

Image: “Bone marrow from a 3-year-old ALL patient”