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Note: The comments under each article title are the opinion of our president, Al Musella, DPM, and do not reflect official policy of the Musella Foundation!

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06/22/18 Seattle Children’s aims to cure terminal brain cancer using immunotherapy with new BrainChild initiative        

 This is a CAR-T cell trial. It is accepting children with any type of recurrent brain tumor that expresses the HER-2 receptor.


06/21/18 Musella Foundation awards another pediatric brain tumor research grant!        

 This is an exciting project that could quickly lead to a new clinical trial for DIPG!

06/20/18 Dr. Souweidane’s Phase 1 Trial Findings Published in Lancet Oncology        

 This is the first proof that convection enhanced delivery into the brain of a kid with DIPG is safe.  There is no talk about the effectiveness of the treatment - this is just the first step - to show it is possible.  Next step is to try to see which drugs are best.

06/17/18 Pinning Down Patient Comfort With Gamma Knife Icon        

 This new version of the gamma knife doesn't require a frame screwed into the head any more!

We will be having a webinar with Dr Schulder in a few weeks to discuss this new version of the gamma knife!

06/14/18 Gamma Knife, immunotherapy combo shows promise in managing certain brain tumors        

 This is an interesting combination. Will keep an eye on it.  BTW: Northwell Health (Northshore Medical Center) on Long Island, NY just got the new version of the gamma knife.

06/13/18 Musella Foundation awards 7 brain tumor research grants!        

 A big thank you to our amazing volunteers and participants in the National Walk To End Brain Tumors!  These projects are going to make a difference fast!

06/11/18 Reviving the protector: new tactic against medulloblastoma        

 There is a huge unmet need in this area. Hope it works well it trials.

06/10/18 Laser interstitial thermal therapy for posterior fossa lesions: An initial experience.        

 This suggests that LITT is safe in the posterior fossa area. It appears relatively safe and may be another option for treatment of tumors in this difficult location

06/02/18 Returning to work after multimodal treatment in glioblastoma patients.        

Returning to work after multimodal treatment in glioblastoma patients.         This is one of the most important outcome of brain tumor treatments. It should be considered an important primary endpoint for clinical trials: what % of patients  are able to work full time at the level of their previous job at 1,2,3 year point? What % of patients can work at least part time at any job at 1,2,3 years.  This is important because for the first time, we are seeing long term survivors of GBMs who can actually work full time at high level jobs, many years down the line.  Even if a treatment only improves median survival by a small amount, but allows those who do survive to engage in meaningful work - that is a breakthrough. For example, many years ago there were reports of a high % of long term survivors with intense radiation.  However, it caused so much damage that most survivors were bedridden for the rest of their lives.  More recently, with DC-Vax, ICT-107, Toca 511 / Toca FC, and others, we see some long term survivors who are functioning at the highest level - executive jobs, having families, driving and enjoying life.   That is what we strive for. So it should be a formal endpoint!

05/31/18 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series are now available free on demand!        

 Let us know what you think of this format, and if you have ideas for speakers or topics for future webinars!

05/31/18 FDA-approved drug for lymphoma and leukemia may help treat common type of brain tumor        

 This is too early to say if it helps or not, but is another treatment that is available if you have the right target.

05/30/18 Trump signs 'Right to Try Act' aimed at helping terminally ill patients seek drug treatments        

 This is a big step forward!  I am now working on how to use this to the advantage of brain tumor patients.  If anyone wants to try to get a drug through this pathway, please join our online support group at and discuss it there!

05/29/18 First results on survival from a large Phase 3 clinical trial of an autologous dendritic cell vaccine in newly diagnosed glioblastoma        
This article is so important that I am placing my editorial comments into the full text part of this entry so more people see it, along with a link to the full article.

05/28/18 Minute Particles could Assist Battling Brain Cancer        

 Great concept. Probably wrong drug but they are working on it.  Maybe they should try 06bg


05/25/18 Superselective intraarterial cerebral infusion of cetuximab with blood brain barrier disruption combined with Stupp Protocol for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.        

 This is only 1 case report but it shows great results using an old drug in a new way.

05/25/18 Midatech Pharma Commences First In-Human Study Of Brain Cancer Drug        

 This is a new way to get drugs to the tumor!

05/24/18 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series: Special Guest Dr Eric T. Wong, MD, Co-Director, Brain Tumor Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Sunday 5/27/18) 7pm Eastern Time!        

 This is the final speaker in our Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series!  Dr. Wong was in charge of the USA trials for Optune and will discuss all aspects of the use of Optune for brain tumors!

05/24/18 Heat shock protein peptide complex-96 vaccination for newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a phase I, single-arm trial.        

 Pretty good results, but it is in a small trial.   

05/24/18 Patterns of care and outcomes of chemoradiation versus radiation alone for MGMT promoter unmethylated glioblastoma.        

 This study says that for glioblastoma patients with unmethylated MGMT, adding Temodar to radiation does not improve survival or progression free survival.    This is a retrospective study that does not control for other factors, but it is interesting. It opens the door for experimenting with other treatments for newly diagnosed MGMT unmethylated patients, such as perhaps substituting Val-083 instead of Temodar.

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