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01/19/17 Novocure’s Optune® Now Available at 500 Cancer Treatment Centers in the U.S.        

 That is amazing, as doctors have to take a course to get certified in the use of Optune. This means that practically every major brain tumor center in the USA can offer Optune to their patients.    There was a 70 percent increase in the survival rate at 4 years for newly diagnosed GBM patients, and Optune is now considered the standard of care for newly diagnosed gbms!




01/19/17 Musella Foundation Copayment Assistance Program is now closed to new patients        

We  are officially closed to new patients, but if you need assistance - send in the application anyway by tomorrow (Friday 1/20/17).  We have a few pending applications waiting for more info. If they are not approved, we will be able to process a few more. I can't promise they will get funded - but I will try my best.

 

 

Amazing how many people need help. I feel bad that we can't help them all.




01/19/17 New Study Aims to Extend TTFields Beyond Grade IV Brain Cancer Domain        

 It would make sense to use Optune with grade 3 brain tumors - would be nice to see the proof. Good luck with the trial!




01/19/17 Glioblastoma Treatment Breakthrough: 'Untreatable' Brain Cancer Tumor Stabilized With Malaria Drug        

 Chloroquine is a cheap drug approved for treatment of Malaria, and is now being tested against many types of cancer.  This article talks about success with 3 patients, and all 3 benefitted.   In our brain tumor virtual trial registry, we have 8 patients who tried it.  5 out of the 8 lived over 2 years, and 3 went on to become long term survivors.  Note that they also took many other treatments besides Chloroquine, so it is impossible for us to tell if it was due to the Chloroquine, but it may be worth looking at closely






01/15/17 Immunotherapies for GBM: Tumor Vaccines by Linda Liau, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.        

 This is a video about the DCVax trial, given by one of my all time favorite brain tumor doctors, Dr. Liau.  This looks very promising. We are hoping to hear the results of the big phase 3 trial soon.

 In the earlier trials and in the early progressors which were excluded from this trial but were followed as they took the vaccine,  about 25% of the patients went on to be long term survivors, with many alive and progression free 5-10 years later.  That is unheard of with the standard treatments. Some other immunotherapies have also reported similiar results (although not as long follow up).    We are hoping this large phase 3 trial shows something close to that so it can be approved quickly and all patients can benefit from it.  Best of all it had no serious side effects.

Dr. Liau is on the Musella Foundation Medical Advisory Board.  The Musella Foundation has supported Dr Liau's immunotherapy research with $375,000 in grants and we have never received any financial  support from the company developing this treatment, Northwest Biotherapeutics.




01/14/17 National Walk To End Brain Tumors – Volunteers needed        

 We desperately need to fund more brain tumor research. We have many research proposals on our desk that are just waiting to be funded. Any of them might lead to advances.  If you have the energy - please volunteer. (And when the time comes - donate!)




01/13/17 Salmonella Has Been Genetically Engineered to Consume Brain Tumors        

 This is way too early to tell if it will work on people but I like the thinking behind it. Good luck to the researchers.




01/03/17 Musella Foundation Copay Assistance Program reopens!        

 This program will probably close quickly so if you think you may need it, apply as soon as possible!




12/31/16 Top Brain Tumor News Stories for 2016        

 2016 was an exciting year - but I think 2017 will be the year we see big steps forward!

Happy New Year!

BTW: The copay program will open again very soon - maybe Monday or Tuesday. Will announce it as soon as it opens!

 




12/31/16 Florescent light helps surgeons target brain tumors        

 This is approved and a standard treatment in Europe. It is not yet approved in the USA so it is only available in clinical trials. Hopefully the new administration will relax some FDA rules and allow potentially life saving treatments to be approved sooner rather than later.




12/31/16 Pathway linked to slower aging also fuels brain cancer        

 They need to find a way to target only the tumor cells and not have the side effects on the normal cells.  There is a lot of research going on to accomplish this with other treatments, such as antibody drug conjugates, convection enhanced delivery, super selective intraarterial intracranial infusion, gene therapies such as used by Tocagen and a few others.




12/31/16 Prognostic parameters and outcome after re-irradiation for progressive glioblastoma.        

 This suggests that stereotactc radiosurgery may be worth consdering for recurrent gbm. This is another controversial issue in the field.  Some doctors I talk with never use it, and others use it a lot.  This is why it is so important to get second opinions.




12/31/16 A Rational Approach to Target the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Glioblastomas.        

 We (the Musella Foundation) are partially funding this work!  Good luck to them.




12/31/16 Absence of cytomegalovirus in glioblastoma and other high-grade gliomas by real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.        

 This study shows that CMV is NOT associated with GBMs. Other studies show 100% of GBMs have it.  It is very important to get the 2 sides together and work out why one group finds it and the other group doesn't. Perhaps have both labs test the same samples, and also have them compare methodology.




12/29/16 Novel Type of Immunotherapy Helps Man Fight Brain Cancer        

 Of course it is too early to tell how it will work but great sign that they were able to get rid of all of the tumors for a while, and that they have shown it is safe to use multiple times.




12/25/16 First patient enrolled in brain tumor trial combining 9 repurposed drugs - CUSP9v3 project        

 This is the 3rd version of CUSP9... it appears that they are only taking patients from Germany at this time, however, since all of the treatments are already approved and readily available, it can be done outside of that trial. If you try it, please register for our virtual trial project first at virtualtrials.com. That way we can track results. 




12/25/16 ONC201 Glioblastoma Trial to Expand Based on Promising Initial Results        

 It's a great sign that they expanded the trial to include more patients and has shown signs of helping patients as well as of not hurting them.




12/25/16 Some glioblastoma patients benefit from 'ineffective' treatment, Stanford researchers say        

 This is the problem with clinical trials.. if the average patients doesn't benefit, they call it a failure.  They do not identify the patients who do benefit. In this case, they identified a group of patients who would benefit from Avastin, even though an average patient doesn't. I have seen many patients with a huge benefit from it, which makes no sense when you look at the trial results. This may explain why. They should go back to the original Avastion trials,  and see if this group of patients did better,




12/19/16 Use of an anti-viral drug, Ribavirin, as an anti-glioblastoma therapeutic.        

 Aside from the mechanism of action these authors proposed, perhaps the theories about cytomegalovirus playing a role in GBMs are valid, and this drug also fights the CMV, just like Valcyte does.




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