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11/17/17 Patients Who Used Optune® More Than 90 Percent of the Time Had the Greatest Chance of Survival in Novocure’s EF-14 Trial: A Median Survival of 24.9 Months from Randomization and a Five-Year Survival of 29.3 Percent        

 A 29.3% 5 year survival - on a large number of patients in a randomized phase 3 trial is very impressive. This shows a dose-response effect, which proves that the concept actually works.  When comparing the median survival, remember that this is from the time that the patients were randomized, not from diagnosis - the difference is almost 4 months. This means that the median survival is almost 29 months, which is a big step forward!




11/17/17 Toca 5 Trial is now open!        

 I went to an impressive presentation by Tocagen today at the SNO meeting!  They have a few long term survivors who not only are survivors, but have been able to return to work and lead productive lives.  The phase 3 trial opened yesterday.




11/17/17 GBM Heroes Honored By CURE        

 Thanks to Cure Magazine, Novocure, Dr Sumrall, as well as my wife and kids - without whom I wouldn't have been able to do this!




11/16/17 National Cancer Institute designates UCLA brain cancer program a site of research excellence        

 I am proud to say that I am the patient advocate on the board for this program!  This is a brilliant group of researchers who deserve this recognition and will put the grant money to great use to speed up the search for the cure!




11/15/17 Phase II Study of Bevacizumab and Vorinostat for Patients with Recurrent World Health Organization Grade 4 Malignant Glioma.        

 Unfortunately, the combination did not do any better than Avastin alone




11/15/17 Medicenna Presents Clinical Data From Previous Phase 1 and 2 Clinical Trials of MDNA55        

 Impressive results. 20% complete response rate form a single injection of this drug, and no serious side effects.  This is the type of treatment that should be approved immediately.




11/10/17 Human fibulin-3 protein variant expresses anti-cancer effects in the malignant glioma extracellular compartment in intracranial xenograft models        

 This is a new way to target brain tumors.  We are proud to say the Musella Foundation was one of the sponsors of the research.




11/07/17 Liquid Biopsy Spots Aggressive Pediatric Brainstem Cancer Earlier        

 This blood (and spinal fluid) test can help diagnose and  monitor the response to treatment for these devastating tumors.  There are drugs under development which target the marker mentioned, so this blood test might be able to be used to determine which patients get these new drugs, without the need for biopsies. Amazing stuff.  And we are proud to say we are one of the sponsors.  Your donations at work!




11/05/17 ONC201 Trial for Histone Mutant Glioma Begins at NYU        

 This mutation is a bad prognostic sign, but they have a 15 year survivor on this medication.  




11/05/17 Making medicine, not money: How one U of T researcher's startup is rethinking Big Pharma's business model        

 I love this model. Combine it with our proposal to speed up access to experimental drugs and we may have a cure much sooner than we thought!




11/01/17 U.S. experts set research agenda to meet 'Cancer Moonshot' goals        

 It is a good start, especially the part about tracking treatments after approval, but if they were serious about finding the cure  they would incorporate earlier approvals as outlined here. That would cut the time and costs by an order of magnitude. 




10/30/17 Health Beat: MDNA trial for glioblastoma        

 Video explains the trial.




10/28/17 Durable Responses Observed in Recurrent High Grade Glioma (rHGG) with Toca 511 & Toca FC Treatment        

 This is a presentation about the Toca 511 / Toca FC  trial.   There are 6 long term survivors (4 GBM, 2 AA), all of whom had a complete response,  And once they achieve a complete response, NONE had a recurrence.  We never use the word "cured" when talking about a GBM, but having a clear scan for over 3 years makes us think it is possible a few of these patients may have been cured.  It is only a small  % at this time - 43% have some benefit from the treatment, and 20% have a significant response.  Hopefully it will only get better and this may lead to a major breakthrough.

The Musella Foundation was an early supporter of this research (and they acknowledge us on the presentation:)




10/26/17 Tocagen to Accelerate Toca 511 & Toca FC Development into Pivotal Phase 3 Trial        

 The Tocagen trial is open again, for patients with high grade glioma.  




10/25/17 Optune trials opens for adult patients with low grade gliomas and pediatric patients with high grade gliomas        

These are exciting trials. 

It is nice to see more research on other uses for the Optune device.  




10/24/17 Incidental findings abound on brain scans of the general pediatric population        

 Very scary - 1/4 of all children had a brain abnormality on MRI. Only 1/2 of 1% had something serious.   I am not sure what this means for the concept of routine screening for brain tumors.  The vast majority of abnormalities is nothing serious but might cause unnecessary surgery and worry.




10/18/17 Arsenic identified as a potential treatment for brain cancer        

 These researchers looked back at a failed trial and found that for a specific subtype of gbm, it actually doubles or triples average survival.  They are running a trial on that subtype now.

 




10/18/17 Diffusion Sprints on FDA Nod for Brain Cancer Treatment        

 This clinical trial should be considered by anyone with an inoperable gbm. Early results looked very good.




10/18/17 Clinical trial targets the most common form of brain cancer        

 This is an interesting video about the trial of MDNA55. This is a new approach to treatment and did well in earlier studies.  (Medicenna is a sponsor of the Musella Foundation)




10/12/17 Fake Blogs: Warnings About Medical Advice from Online ‘Experts’        

 This is the greatest benefit of our online support groups.  We have people who have been through everything, and have researched everything.  It is a place where you can boucne ideas off of others instead of just finding random medical advice on the internet.  It is impossible for someone who was recently diagnosed to understand the difference between real and fake news.  They so much want to find a cure that they may be easily mislead by unscrupulous people.  Actually, some of the people promoting these cures are good people who actually believe in it - because they do not have the background to understand how science works. An example:  a relative was fighting a gbm and went through ups and downs.  One down (after her 3rd course of radiation) was so bad we thought it was the end. She could only eat lemon ices. Had trouble chewing and swallowing anything else. And she had a miraculous recovery. In her mind, it was due to the lemon ices and she was telling people to eat lemon ices. In reality - the down was caused by damage and swelling from the radiation, which she recovered from.  It is all in the point of view.

The best online support group for brain tumor patients is the braintumor treatments group at https://virtualtrials.com/braintumor-treatments.cfm




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