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10/22/16 Patient-Tailored Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Treating Brain Cancer        

 Pretty good results in a large phase 3 trial.

10/20/16 An LXR-Cholesterol Axis Creates a Metabolic Co-Dependency for Brain Cancers.        

 This may be a new target for GBM treatment, which may use a few drugs already approved for other diseases. Should be quick and easy to prove... Might be a perfect project for our brain tumor virtual trial registry.

10/09/16 Last chance for NY Islanders Home Opener Fundraiser!        

 It's getting close!  One week away to the start of an exciting season!  Get your tickets now and help us fund some really important brain tumor research!

10/09/16 Exclusive: Interview With DelMar Pharmaceutical CEO Jeffrey Bacha        

This drug, Val-083, might just be the next big step forward.  Late stage trials are about to start. It already had been approved in China for other diseases, and over 1,000 patients took it and have shown that toxicity is not a problem. It might especially be useful for gbm patients who have unmethylated MGMT.  

The article may have missed a little on the statistics. I doubt if 200,000 GBMs are diagnosed a year. They say "less than 200,000" but it is more like 20,000.


10/09/16 High response rate in phase I/II paediatric brain cancer trial        

 Luckily, the drug they used, dabrafenib, is already approved for other types of cancer so it can be used off label immediately. Unfortunately, in melanoma, it was found that most patients become resistant to it quickly.  There is work going on now using another drug, Trametinib, combined with the dabrafenib, which may prevent that resistance. The FDA approved this combination for melanoma. Maybe it would work in brain tumors also!

10/09/16 Darren Daulton Battling Brain Cancer Through Charitable Foundation        

 This organization offers brain tumor (and brain injury) patients up to $5,000 per year to help with expenses! Great work!

10/09/16 CIK Treatment Extends Progression-free Survival of Glioblastoma Patients by 1.5 Times        

 Impressive results in a large controlled trial.

10/06/16 Veteran With Terminal Brain Cancer Explains Why He’s Against Assisted Suicide        

 This is a hot topic now.  I would like your thoughts on it. Click HERE to take a quick 1 question survey!

10/05/16 Tocagen Presents Updated Tumor Response Data for its Cancer-Selective Gene Therapy        

 Pretty good results.  20% of the patients in the trial responded, but those that responded  remain alive at 21-42 months. This means that the median survival they reported,  14.3 months, will go up as time goes on - assuming these patients continue to do well for a while! In the past, I have seen numbers reported of about 8 to 9 months average survival for recurrent gbms.. (this press release doesn't break down the % with anaplastic astrocytoma), but that is with everyone dead at the end of the trial.

And they mention the Musella Foundation as funding part of the work.  Your donations at work! :)

We are starting a new fundraiser to raise money specifically to speed up approval for this treatment. For details, go to

10/01/16 Injecting live virus in brain tumors may fight cancer, study suggests        

 This video is about the Tocagen trial.  They said that so far, it has doubled overall survival compared to historical survival times.

We are launching a new fundraiser to help speed up this trial and collect more data on how it works and how to make it work better. See for details.  And for the first time ever, we are offering t-shirts, hats and jackets with the Tocagen motto: "No One Should Die Of Cancer" for donations!

10/01/16 Phase I/II trial of combination of temozolomide chemotherapy and immunotherapy with fusions of dendritic and glioma cells in patients with glioblastoma.        

 Excellent results.. in a small group of patients.  Average survival of 30.5 months for newly diagnosed GBM patients is pretty good. More research needs to be done.

10/01/16 Pioneering Studies Apply New Immunologic Insights to Glioblastoma        

 This is a completely new way of trying to treat brain tumors by suppressing cells in the blood that travel to the brain tumor and inhibit the immune system. 

We (The Musella Foundation) funded part of the project!  This is YOUR donations hard at work! Thanks


10/01/16 Effect of Bevacizumab Plus Temozolomide-Radiotherapy for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma with Different MGMT Methylation Status: A Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials.        

The MGMT status did not have much effect on the use of Avastin with newly diagnosed gbm patients.    It is good to see research on this topic, because people with unmethylated MGMT are usually relatively resistant  to Temodar.

09/30/16 Insys Therapeutics Receives FDA Orphan Drug Designation for Its Pharmaceutical Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme        

 It is a shame that the connection to illegal marijuana has severely delayed research and acceptance of a promising treatment for brain tumors.  It is great that this drug company is taking it on even though it isn't politically correct to do so.

09/28/16 The Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research and Information, Inc is proud to announce that we partnered with the DIPG Collaborative to award a $100,000 pediatric brain tumor research grant to Dr. Adrian Krainer, of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in NY.        

 This is the 90th brain tumor research grant that the Musella Foundation has funded, and it may be one of the most important.  IF it works, the approach can be modified to treat many other types of tumors.

The researchers asked me for the grant right after our scheduled round of granting for the year.  Our medical advisory board quickly approved it, giving it one of the highest scores we ever had, but we did not have the money to fund it.  I approached the DIPG Collaborative and asked them to split the cost with us.  The DIPG Collaborative quickly had their medical advisory board evaluate it and had over 20 independent foundations vote on it, with amazing speed!  They understand the importance of not only finding and funding the best research, but doing it quickly. It was a pleasure to work with them.

09/28/16 Glioblastoma: Overview of Disease and Treatment.        

 This is a good overview of the basics of what a glioblastoma is and how it is treated.  

09/28/16 Efficacy and Safety of Treating Glioblastoma With Tumor-Treating Fields Therapy        

 Explains how Optune works. 

09/26/16 Orbus Therapeutics Announces Enrollment of First Patient in Phase 3 Trial in Late-Stage Brain Cancer        

 Interesting drug. It is approved for uses other than cancer, so if this trial shows it works, access will be easy.

I am not sure about the statistics they use.. they say anaplastic astrocytoma was the largest subset of anaplastic glioma, but Glioblastoma multiforme is.  They say 75% of the 20,000 cases of anaplastic glioma are 2,700 anaplastic astrocytomas..  but 75% of 20,000 is 15,000.. 

09/21/16 The Clinical Implications of Inconsistently Methylated Results from Glioblastoma MGMT Testing by Replicate Methylation-Specific PCR.        

 Excellent article. Apparently, when the MGMT methylation status test results show inconsistent methylation, it really should be thought of as being unmethylated.  For background:  MGMT is a gene that codes for an enzyme that repairs damage to the DNA caused by Temodar.  If your MGMT genes are methylated, that means they are inactive and can not produce the repair enzyme.  This makes Temodar work much better.  However, if your MGMT is unmethylated  (or apparently now - even inconclusive), the repair enzyme is produced which reverses the damage caused by Temodar, making it not really work.

This really didn't matter much until recently when a new drug, Val-083, was created which works similar to Temodar but on a different part of the DNA so that this repair enzyme can not reverse the damage. This drug is about to start phase 3 clinical trials. Worth considering for those whose test show unmethylated MGMT. 

09/19/16 CNS Oncology Publishes Tumor Treating Fields Treatment Planning and Patient Follow-up Guidelines in Glioblastoma        

This should make the treatment work better - especially for those offices that do not have a lot of experience with using Optune

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