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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!
Displaying Stories 1 to 20 of 6,444
12/10/18 Musella Foundation awards 2 more pediatric brain tumor research grants!
Both of the grants we gave out today are urgent projects that needed to be done. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to quickly approve them - both applications were received within the last 4 days and our dedicated medical advisory board were able to evaluate and approve them quickly!
12/10/18 Survivin Vaccine for Newly Diagnosed GBM
This is another vaccine that is a simple shot in the arm. It is a stock treatment - it does not require tumor tissue, and in a small trial showed a nice increase in average survival over historical controls. These are the types of treatments that need quick approvals so everyone can get them.
12/05/18 Cancer therapy shows promise for some brain tumors
This is the experimental drug Onc-201. When the article says that it was largely ineffective in a pilot study for GBM, they did not point out that that study included mostly GBM patients who did not have the H3 K27M mutation, and they have since realized that this mutation makes the tumor more sensitive to this drug.
The current clinical trials (and compassionate use program) requires the H3 K27M mutation be present. (DIPGs do not require a biopsy – it is assumed that most will have the mutation).
The mutation H3 K27M is a marker of the worst of the worst brain tumors. Most DIPGs have it, and it is found in the midline and spinal cord gliomas usually of younger adults and kids. Until now, there really was no hope for these tumors. This drug gives some hope. It is not a miracle cure for everyone but it is a huge step in the right direction. It is an oral drug with minimal side effects. Look at your pathology reports and see if you have this mutation. If you do, ask your doctor about Onc-201.
The Musella Foundation has been a supporter of it's development since they started.
12/03/18 Functional Biological Activity of Sorafenib as a Tumor-Treating Field Sensitizer for Glioblastoma Therapy.
I am a big fan of Optune, and think almost all GBM patients should be on it. It is the best treatment currently available, but it is not good enough by itself. We need to find what to add to it so that it works for everyone. This article presents one such combination. There are hundreds of other combinations that also need to be tested and the only way we are going to find the best combination is for us to track the outcomes of every patient who uses Optune. We are now tracking patients in our virtual trial project. Go to virtualtrials.com and click on virtual trial to learn about it and join. It is free - but you need to commit to posting update monthly for as long as needed. All brain tumor patients should be participating, but especially if you are considering Optune.
12/03/18 Help Us Better Understand Glioblastoma Multiforme - Paid survey!
This is from our friends at Pinpoint Patient Recruiting. They are doing a survey about GBMs. They want GBM patients or caregivers to participate in an online survey, and are offering you $75 for your time. They will also make a donation to the Musella Foundation!
Please let us know if you do the survey and your experiences with it!
11/22/18 SNO 2018: Trials of Two Oncolytic Viruses for Recurrent Malignant Glioma Are Progressing
2 interesting treatments. Too early to tell how well they are working, as both are just trying to find the right dosage. They both have some long term survivors. Historically, the survival after recurrence for a GBM is about 7 months. The Polio Virus Vaccine has about 20% of patients alive ranging from 36-73 months. The D2C7-IT trial has about 30% of patients alive, with 2 of them having partial responses and being alive over 8.2 and 34 months.
Disclaimer: The Musella Foundation has funded both treatments.
11/20/18 SNO Highlights
SNO is an amazing meeting. Aside from all of the presentations, I got to meet and talk with many brain tumor researchers and physicians and discuss what they think are the best treatments, what is needed to advance the field, what is slowing down progress and much more.
We also were able to interact with many other brain tumor nonprofits. There was some resistance in the past to working together but I think the last barriers were recently removed and you are going to see a lot more collaboration now. We are all about collaboration. Working together we will be able to accomplish much more than any of us could individually.
11/20/18 Musella Foundation 2018 Highlights
As the year comes to a close, we reflect back on what was accomplished. This was a really exciting year for brain tumors. We feel that we are on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Everything is coming together - many clinical trials are reporting long term survivors in a small % of patients. Our goal is to speed up the approvals for these treatments so doctors can combine them in cocktails and get long term survivors for most brain tumor patients!
11/10/18 The role of erlotinib and the Optune device in a patient with an epidermal growth factor receptor viii amplified glioblastoma.
In the case presented, the patient had a GBM but was allergic to Temodar so they had to try something different. They tried erltinib and Optune, which has resulted in stable disease for at least 9 months after radiation. It is only 1 case but shows brilliant thinking on the part of this patient's team. They chose Optune, which is the obvious choice, but since the patient overexpressed EGFR, they also added erlotinib. More research needs to be done on such combinations of Optune and therapies personalized to the patient!
11/02/18 Prospective feasibility and safety assessment of surgical biopsy for patients with newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
This study shows that biopsy of DIPG is not as dangerous as we thought. Years ago it was never done due to the dangers involved but with advances in pediatric neurosurgery, this study shows that in 53 patients, 2 had problems in surgery that resolved, and only 1 had long term neurological deficit. Of course if you are that one out of 53, it is horrible, but kids with this tumor all develop neuro problems and most die quickly. In the past it was not worth the risk as even if they were able to do a biopsy, it wouldn't matter much as there were no treatments anyway. Now we have access to a lot of targeted treatments that may help.
10/23/18 A 150-Year-Old Drug Might Improve Radiation Therapy for Cancer
This is early work but since it is an approved drug for a different disease, it should be easy and fast to test as it can be used off label. I added it as a choice in the virtual trial so if anyone tries it, record it in our virtual trial registry so we can get an idea of if it helps or not. (Virtualtrials.com click on virtual trial)
10/17/18 PVSRIPO (Polio Vaccine) clinical trial now open in 4 brain tumor centers!
This is one of my favorite trials and has just opened up in CA, MA and FL in addition to NC. The pediatric version is still only in NC.
Disclaimer: I am on the advisory board of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University, and have given grants towards these projects.
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