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08/24/16 Update published for "Treatment Options For Glioblastoma and other Glioma"        

 This is the most important article on our website and is updated once a year..  Ben Williams originally wrote the book: Surviving Terminal Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won't Tell You About" in 2002. Since treatment change so rapidly, it needed an update every year, and Ben gratiously allowed us to host the yearly updates to distribute for free. This year, for the first time, our medical editor, Stephen Western, helped Ben update it.  New this year is an easy way to see changes from previous editions - they are now in red.  They did a great job and this is a must read for anyone who is interested in Brain Tumors.




08/23/16 Curcumin Changes the Polarity of Tumor-Associated Microglia and Eliminates Glioblastoma.        

 This is only in mice now but looks exciting.




08/18/16 Tamoxifen Induces Cytotoxic Autophagy in Glioblastoma.        

 I had a relative do great for over 5 years with high dose tamoxifen for her gbm.  It was relatively popular before Temodar came into use. Studies showed that it helped a small % of patients, but when it helped, it helped a lot. And it had minimal side efects.  This article  might explain why it helps some patients and not others. More research needs to be done.




08/18/16 Evaluation of pseudoprogression rates and tumor progression patterns in a phase III trial of bevacizumab plus radiotherapy/temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.        

 There has always been the fear that using Avastin would cause the tumor to become more invasive as the blood supply to the tumor gets cut off.  This article shows in a large number of patients that this fear is not justified.




08/18/16 Clinical utility and treatment outcome of comprehensive genomic profiling in high grade glioma patients.        

 This article is scary. The big hope was that by finding the genetic mutations in a tumor, a cocktail of drugs could be prescribed to personalize the treatment plan for each person's tumor.  This small study shows that we are not there yet. A lot more research needs to be done before the concept should be discarded.






08/13/16 MANY CANCER PATIENTS MUST FACE BANKRUPTCY—OR DIE        

 This is a huge problem for our brain tumor patients. I get phone calls every day from patients who can't afford their treatments. We were able to help a lot of them with our assistance program but that program is now closed as we ran out of funding. But the calls still come. Heart breaking.  That was just a band-aid on the major problem: the insane system we use to get new drugs developed.  My dream is to develop a cure as a nonprofit and be able to get it to all of the people who need it at a reasonable cost.




08/10/16 Tumor-derived vaccines containing CD200 inhibit immune activation: implications for immunotherapy.        

 This may be why the vaccines do not work in some patients.  Worth further study.




08/10/16 Call for chefs to enter Flo’s Chili Cook-Off        

 From our friends. Sounds like a great event.




07/26/16 Musella Foundation awards $149,992 in 3 brain tumor research grants.        

 These 3 projects can make a big impact in this disease, quickly.

  The first project is a pilot human trial for kids with brain tumors using the polio virus vaccine made famous on a recent 60 minutes episode. This is the first time it will be tried on children and if successful, will lead quickly to a larger trial, then hopefully FDA approval so all kids would be able to get access to this promising treatment.

 The second project involves a new way to get drugs to the tumor at a higher concentration and for a longer period of time. This is a mouse experiment to see if this new delivery method can make a significant difference in outcome. If it does, it will lead quickly to a human trial.

 The third project combines an immunotherapy that is already approved for other types of cancers with stereotactic radiosurgery in a mouse model. Since both parts are easily available today, this can lead to immediate use in patients if successful.

 I would like to thank all of the volunteers and donors who made it possible for us to give these grants out!

 




07/26/16 Musella Foundation Co-payment Assistance Program is now closed to new patients        

 I am sorry to say, the program is now closed to new applicants.  I am trying to raise more money - and will reopen it as soon as we can.




07/26/16 NCCN Guidelines Recommend Optune as a Standard Treatment Option for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma        

 I sent a story about this in a recent news blast but this is the press release from Novocure and their take on the topic!




07/26/16 International Study Finds Effective, Less Toxic Way to Treat Brain Tumors        

 I love this type of research. They took into account the patient's quality of life as well as survival time to determine that for 1 to 3 brain metastases, stereotactic radiosurgery is better used alone rather than in combination with whole brain radiation.  The survival times were about the same either way, but quality of life was better with radiosurgery alone. Not to mention a lot cheaper and more convenient.




07/25/16 NCCN updated CNS cancer treatment guidelines to include Optune        

 The National Comprehensive Cancer Network is one of the more influential organizations that publishes guidelines for treating cancers.  They just released a new version of the guidelines for CNS cancers and added "Alternating Electric Field Therapy" (which is the Optune system) to their standard of care for newly diagnosed Glioblastoma and Anaplastic Astrocytoma.  

When I last met with Medicare over the issue of coverage for Optune, they mentioned the lack of support from the NCCN as one of the reasons they did not want to cover Optune.  Hopefully this removes that issue.




07/25/16 Musella Foundation Co-payment Assistance Program about to close to new patients        

 If you think you qualify and may need help paying for one of the covered treatments (Optune, Gliadel, Temodar or Avastin), send in the application as soon as possible. We have enough funding for only a few more patients. 




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.  




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