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!
03/20/18 NCCN Guidelines Recommend Optune in Combination with Temozolomide as a Category 1 Treatment for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
This is great news. The NCCN basically sets the standard of care for cancer treatments. The NCCN treatments classification is:
NCCN Categories of Evidence and Consensus
- Category 1: Based upon high-level evidence, there is uniform NCCN consensus that the intervention is appropriate.
- Category 2A: Based upon lower-level evidence, there is uniform NCCN consensus that the intervention is appropriate.
- Category 2B: Based upon lower-level evidence, there is NCCN consensus that the intervention is appropriate.
- Category 3: Based upon any level of evidence, there is major NCCN disagreement that the intervention is appropriate.
Not only does this set the standard of care as including Optune, but it should make it impossible for insurance companies to deny it.
03/13/18 OURBRAINBANK: PEOPLE-POWERED, TECH-ENABLED START-UP TO TACKLE BRAIN CANCER
This is from our friends at "OurB Brain Bank". It is an app that records your information to be used in research and helps match you with clinical trials. We have similar projects going - the brain tumor virtual trial, and our clinical trials matcher, but it is good to get other points of view
03/09/18 Optune Open House
This is from the people at Novocure. It is a facebook event where you can learn about and ask questions about Optune!
03/03/18 Secretive Mexican brain cancer clinic to be investigated by Australian expert
It doesn't sound like they are going to be open to investigations. They are currently treating 70 patients at a cost of $300,000 per patient. If the treatment worked, they would have published and patented it and make a fortune helping patients all over the world. If they are not sure it works, then they need to keep it secret so they can scam rich foreigners.
As a reminder, some drugs, like Avastin, can make a tumor disappear from a scan even though it is still there. So I am not that impressed with the scan results. However, the article does say there is some evidence of living longer, which would impress me. I hope they let the expert investigate.
02/23/18 Voyager Pediatric System Granted Humanitarian Use Designation
This is interesting.. the FDA apparently approved a device without requiring any proof that it helps at all. My first instinct was to dismiss it as nonsense, but the press release says that Dr. Michael Prados is on the scientific advisory board - he is one of the best neuro-oncologists in the world, so we cannot dismiss this. I made the same mistake with Optune - I completely dismissed it at first glance, until I saw the research results and met patients who did well with it. This works in a completely different way than Optune.
Shared cancer neoantigens: Making private matters public
This is for a new treatment for pediatric brain tumors that have a certain mutation. Almost all DIPG patients have it and some high grade glioma patients have it, especially those near the midline of the brain. Fascinating but highly technical article. Bottom line is that it led to a clinical trial for kids with this mutation.
02/14/18 Thoughts on "Right To Try"
These are my thoughts on the right to try law. The Senate passed it already and the House is considering it.