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!
08/22/18 Estimated lifetime survival benefit of tumor treating fields and temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients
This is another type of analysis of the latest Optune trial for newly diagnosed GBM. Unlike most results that are published, this is for an evaluation of the health economics where they use a mathematical model to predict how long patients will live in each arm of the trial if they were observed over the course of 15 years instead of about the 5 years covered by the trial. This reports the average survivals, not the median survivals that were already presented. The main difference is the median survival is the point at which the person at the midpoint of the trial dies. For example, if there were 500 patients, it is the point at which patient number 250 dies. This allows them to report the information in a reasonable amount of time, but it doesn't give any insight into the long tail - patients who live for a long time.
The average adds up all of the survival times and divides by the number of patients. This is impossible to do when patients live for a long time, so this study is using a model to estimate it. This takes into account the long term survivors.
There are a few amazing numbers presented here. IF you survive the first 2 years on Optune, you will have about a 17% chance of living to 15 years. In the temodar group, that number is 8.7%. The average life expectancy for the Optune group was 4.2 years vs. the control arm of temodar alone at 2.4 years. An increase of 1.8 years!
07/27/18 Metformin Treatment Inhibits Motility and Invasion of Glioblastoma Cancer Cells.
This study shows that Metformin MIGHT be useful to help other treatments work better. We know that by itself it is not going to cure a brain tumor, but the evidence shows it inhibits motility and invasion at least in the test tube. Might be good to watch how it interacts with other treatments in the virtual trial
07/10/18 Brain Tumor Webinar Series continues...
These events allow you to ask the experts any questions about brain tumor treatments.
Dr Rahman is the co-principal investigator for a promising vaccine clinical trial https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02465268 She will tell us the theory behind the vaccine and why she thinks it will help, as well as the results of an earlier trial.. This is a simple shot in the skin - not into the brain.
Dr Schulder is the director of the Brain Tumor Center at Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute and they recently acquired the new version of the Gamma Knife. Dr. Schulder is past president of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and is vice president of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He is one of the rare neurosurgeons who can and does treat brain tumors both with surgery and / or radiation.
06/30/18 Returning to work after multimodal treatment in glioblastoma patients
This should be a key endpoint for clinical trials for glioblastomas. In this study, only 18% of the patients went back to work after surgery, radiation and Temodar. Out of these who did go back to work, most were not able to resume full time work. Only about 8 out of the 125 patients were able to return to work full time. Some of the new experimental treatments such as DCVAX and Tocagen not only had some long term survivors, but had people working full time in high level jobs 5+ years after diagnosis. That is really what we want to see, even more than merely "surviving".
06/20/18 Dr. Souweidane’s Phase 1 Trial Findings Published in Lancet Oncology
This is the first proof that convection enhanced delivery into the brain of a kid with DIPG is safe. There is no talk about the effectiveness of the treatment - this is just the first step - to show it is possible. Next step is to try to see which drugs are best.
06/17/18 Pinning Down Patient Comfort With Gamma Knife Icon
This new version of the gamma knife doesn't require a frame screwed into the head any more!
We will be having a webinar with Dr Schulder in a few weeks to discuss this new version of the gamma knife!