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07/23/16 Local Biotech Company Develops Therapy to Treat Brain Cancer for Extended Survival        

 Although it was only a small phase 1 trial, they reported that the overall survival doubled compared to historical controls.  This is now in a large phase 2/3 trial throughout the USA.  We are working on raising funds to help speed up the approval process so all brain tumor patients could get access.  Eventually, this may work for not only brain but most other types of cancer. 

07/23/16 DelMar Pharmaceuticals Announces Presentation at the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) Annual Meeting in October 2016        

Very good early results reported.  The interesting things about this treatment are:

1. that it might work on patients whose tumors are MGMT unmethylated - a condition which usually makes them resistant to Temodar.

2. It may work after Avastin fails. Up until now, there hasn't been much success on patients after Avastin failure.

07/21/16 PD-1 blockade enhances the vaccination induced immune response in glioma        

 This combination of vaccine and checkpoint inhibitor worked much better than either alone, at least in mice. Hopefully they can move this to patients quickly, as the checkpoint inhibitor is already FDA approved for other diseases and they are already running a trial of the vaccine.

By the way - they acknowledge the Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc  as a source of funding!  This is your donations at work!

07/16/16 Weaponizing human EGF-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (EFEMP1) for 21st century cancer therapeutics        

 A brilliant idea.. funded in part by the Musella Foundation!

07/13/16 Novocure Receives FDA Approval for Second Generation Optune System        

 I have seen the new system, and it is much nicer. Smaller, lighter, looks much more modern, and is easier to use.  

07/13/16 Musella Foundation Request for Donations!        

 Most of the funds for this round of granting come from our National Walk To End Brain Tumors.  I would like to thank all of the volunteers who made it possible!

07/06/16 New microfluidic device offers means for studying electric field cancer therapy        

Great proof of principle that TTFs can interfere with tumor growth and spreading.   Maybe they could use this type of device to personalize the Optune treatment based on a biopsy from each patient and make it work better.


07/05/16 FDA Grants Accurexa Pre-IND Meeting for its ACX-31 Program in the Treatment of Brain Cancer        

 This is a new platform for delivering treatments into the brain tumor directly. Higher dosages can be achieved in the tumor, with less or no exposure to the rest of the body. Work in mice showed that Temozolomide and BCNU given directly into the tumor work a lot better than the standard ways of giving it. Hopefully this will translate into patients quickly.

07/04/16 Scientists just discovered we've been looking at cancer growth all wrong. This could change everything.        

 This is still preliminary work, but raises an important point: that we should recheck everything that we thought we knew about these tumors.  The technology we have now is amazing compared to what was available in the 1950s when it was decided that brain tumors use glucose as the main energy source. This article points out that by culturing the tumor cells in blood, you change the tumor cells to use what is most common in the blood, which is different than what is in the brain. On the other hand, they also mention that PET scans show where glucose is being used - and the tumors do use a lot more glucose than non tumor brain.

07/02/16 Questions and Answers on the New Study Linking Cellphones and Cancer in Rats        

 The NY times got it correct.  A lot of other news outlets were reporting that cell phones cause cancer, based on prelimineray results of a study that found 2% of male rats and 0% of female rats exposed to a lot of cell phone radiation developed brain tumors. None of the rats in the control group developed tumors, but in the past, historically with this line of rats, 2% would be expected to develop brain tumors.  That none did in the control group is a simple statistical fluke - it can easily happen that a few less or more than expected develop tumors.  And that is what happened in the treatment group - the expected 2% of males developed it but the females didn't.

The Times pointed out that the incidence of brain tumors in the USA has not gone up over the last 20 years, during a time when cell phone use has grown exponentially. 

My thoughts - there is no reason to give up your cell phones.

06/29/16 Outcome of young children with high-grade glioma treated with irradiation-avoiding intensive chemotherapy regimens: Final report of the Head Start II and III trials.        

 This study shows that it might be OK to avoid radiation therapy for high grade gliomas in young children, or at least delay it until they are older.  Radiation in young children can cause permanent problems like a lower IQ.  These results are still not good enough but are similar to the treatments that do include radiation, so the lucky few who survive are presumably in better condition. A better way needs to be found.

06/29/16 Frequent occurrence of therapeutically reversible CMV-associated encephalopathy during radiotherapy of the brain.        

 This is amazing.  I never heard of patients in the USA being tested or treated for this, and they say a significant % of patients who are CMV positive will have a reactivation of the CMV infection in the brain when the immune system is depressed with steroids and radiation.  Treating it may reduce symptoms and hopefully prolong life.

06/29/16 Rapid regression of glioblastoma following carmustine wafer implantation: A case report.        

 You can never make decisions based on individual case reports but they are nice to see.  Gliadel has been neglected by some medical centers.  On average, it adds a little extra time before the tumor progresses, sometimes allowing time for other treatments to have a chance at working. It was never meant to be a cure by itself.  We do not have enough patients in our brain tumor virtual trial ( to make a statistically significant statement about it, but taking a look at just our  long term (over 5 year) GBM survivors,  5 out of the 21 (24%) have used Gliadel as part of the plan. Looking at all GBM patients, 36 out of 469 (8%) have used Gliadel. To me this means that if Gliadel had no effect, you would expect the same % of patients who used it as the % of long term survivors who use it. But we see a tripling of the %, which means Gliadel does have a big increase (possibly tripling) in the chances of becoming a long term survivor, and it should be studied more in depth.


06/29/16 The earlier the better? Bevacizumab in the treatment of recurrent MGMT-non-methylated glioblastoma.        

 These are puzzling results.  Avastin increased the time to progression by over 100% compared to chemotherapy, but the overall survival time was about 30% less. This doesn't make sense.  This brings up the question of quality vs quantity of life. Patients did well for twice as long using Avastin, but died sooner. What is worth more?  I would like to find out why the people in the Avastin group didn't live as long as those in the chemotherapy group.  I wonder if the chemotherapy group used Avastin after recurrence?

06/24/16 Extended Survival Reported in Brain Cancer Patients Treated With Viral Gene Therapy        

 This treatment is now in a phase 2/3 trial for recurrent gbm, available in over 35 centers across the USA and Canada!  Go to for details!

06/23/16 ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Treats First Patient in ICT-107 Phase 3 Registrational Trial in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma        

 Great news!  This is one of my favorite trials, and they are now open! This is a stock vaccine - which means you do not need fresh tumor tissue to make the vaccine.  It is a relatively simple blood draw and shot in the arm.

06/23/16 Study: New Vaccine Helps Prevent Brain Tumors From Coming Back        

 This is another of my favorite treatments.  The video explains how the Toca 5 trial works! We are planning on launching a fundraising campaign to help speed up development of this exciting treatment!

06/21/16 Musella Foundation issues request for proposals for brain tumor research grants.        

 Our National Walk To End Brain Tumors was a big success! Thanks to all of our volunteers!  

We will be sending out a mailing introducing our new Immunotherapy research fund soon! Watch for it or go to for details!

06/16/16 Camp Jinka - NJ        

From our friends at the Zocchi Brain Tumor Center

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