Finding keys to drug therapy resistance in glioblastoma

Researchers have found one key as to why certain glioblastomas are resistant to drug therapy, and the answer lies in a tumor's epigenetic signature.

Repurposing antidepressant may target new medulloblastoma pathway

New research suggests that an antidepressant medication, repurposed, could target a novel molecular pathway that causes an aggressive form of medulloblastoma.

Triple therapy revs up immune system against a common brain tumor

A triple therapy for glioblastoma, consisting of two types of immunotherapy and targeted radiation, has significantly prolonged the survival of mice with these brain cancers, according to a new report.

Brain tumors hijack the brain's blood supply

Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain's existing blood supply throughout their progression, according to new research.

A possible explanation for why brain tumors are more common, and more harmful, in males

A possible explanation for why brain tumors are more common, and more harmful, in males

New research helps explain why brain tumors occur more often in males and frequently are more harmful than similar tumors in females. For example, glioblastomas, the most common malignant brain tumors, are diagnosed twice as often in males, who suffer greater cognitive impairments than females and do not survive as long.

A Single Protein Could Unlock New Treatments For Brain Cancer

A Single Protein Could Unlock New Treatments For Brain Cancer

New research shows the protein neurons use to stay alive and healthy is used by brain cancer cells to maintain longevity to grow and metastasize. The findings could lead to breakthroughs in treatments for brain cancer.

Glioblastoma cell migration reveals a potential drug delivery route through the blood-brain barrier

Invading glioblastoma cells may hijack cerebral blood vessels during early stages of disease progression and damage the brain's protective barrier, according to results of a study.

Five myths may compromise care of patients with brain metastases

Five myths may compromise care of patients with brain metastases

A blue-ribbon team of national experts on brain cancer said that professional pessimism and out-of-date myths rather than current science may compromise the care of patients with cancer that has metastasized to the brain.

Glioblastoma cell investigation may lead to new cancer treatments

Glioblastoma cell investigation may lead to new cancer treatments

Invading glioblastoma cells may hijack cerebral blood vessels during early stages of disease progression—this finding could ultimately lead to new ways to bring about the death of the tumor.

Tool assists brain cancer surgery

Tool assists brain cancer surgery

A tool to help brain surgeons test and more precisely remove cancerous tissue was successfully used during surgery, according to a Purdue University and Brigham and Women's Hospital study.

Glioblastoma tumors exhibit more cellular diversity than previously thought

An exciting new study has characterized the cellular diversity in glioblastoma tumors from patients, which may pave the way for the development of new treatments.

Autologous cancer vaccine extends survival in patients with newly diagnosed GBM

Autologous cancer vaccine extends survival in patients with newly diagnosed GBM

Final results from a phase 2 study show that adding Prophage autologous cancer vaccine to the standard-of-care treatment for newly diagnosed GBM improves survival.

Progesterone could be added to brain cancer therapies

Progesterone could be added to brain cancer therapies

The hormone progesterone could become part of therapy against the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Small-molecule drugs cross the blood-brain barrier

A synthetic peptide carrier is a potential delivery vehicle for chemotherapy drugs for brain cancer and for other neurologic medications, according to new research.

Newly identified brain cancer mutation may can aid drug development

Researchers have identified a genetic mutation in brain cancer tumor cells that plays a role in both the growth and the death of the cell.

Optimal dosing for TMZ: 1 hour prior to RT versus bedtime

Optimal dosing for TMZ: 1 hour prior to RT versus bedtime

Is there a difference in dosing (1 hour prior to radiotherapy vs bedtime) with temozolomide plus radiotherapy for glioblastoma multiforme?

US and Australian Researchers Form Alliance to Facilitate Development of Treatments for Childhood Cancers

US and Australian Researchers Form Alliance to Facilitate Development of Treatments for Childhood Cancers

Alliance of Australian and U.S. researchers and children's cancer advocates focused on developing drugs as potential treatments for neuroblastoma, the most common solid form of childhood cancer.

Human fat may be a Trojan horse in the fight against brain cancer

Stem cells derived from human body fat have been successfully used to deliver biologic treatments directly to the brains of mice with the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor, significantly extending their lives.

Gene sequencing discovers mutations tied to deadly brain tumors in young children

New mutations in pediatric brain tumors known as high-grade gliomas have been identified, and most often occur in the youngest patients.

Adult cancer drug offers hope against aggressive pediatric brain tumor

The quest to improve survival of children with a high-risk brain tumor has led investigators to two drugs already used to treat adults with breast, pancreatic, lung, and other cancers.

Gene sequencing discovers common driver of childhood brain tumor ependymoma

Gene sequencing discovers common driver of childhood brain tumor ependymoma

The most common genetic alteration ever reported in the brain tumor ependymoma has been identified. Researchers also have evidence that the alteration drives tumor development.

Gene mutation defines brain tumors that benefit from aggressive surgery

Patients with malignant astrocytoma whose tumors carry the gene mutation IDH1 may benefit greatly from surgical removal of the largest possible amount of tumor.

Lightwaves improve brain tumor surgery

First-of-its-kind research shows promise for developing a method to clearly identify cancerous tissue during surgery. These findings may potentially improve outcomes for those undergoing surgery to remove glioblastoma multiforme.

Breast cancer spreads to the brain by disguising itself as neurons

Breast cancer spreads to the brain by disguising itself as neurons

Years can pass between the time a breast cancer patient goes into remission and a related brain tumor develops. During that time, the breast cancer cells somehow escape detection.

Targetable mutation identified in rare brain tumor

A gene mutation associated with several types of cancer also may be responsible for a rare but debilitating brain tumor called papillary craniopharyngioma.

Cancer stem cells targeted in malignant brain tumors

Researchers have also created an experimental vaccine to attack immune system targets related to cancer stem cells, the cells from which malignant brain tumors are believed to originate and regenerate.

Personalized vaccine for most lethal type of brain tumor shows promise

Personalized vaccine for most lethal type of brain tumor shows promise

Patients with recurrent GBM treated with an experimental vaccine made from the patient's own resected tumor tissue showed an improved survival compared with historical patients who received the standard of care alone, according to an analysis of a phase 2 trial of this vaccine.

Targeting the mTOR pathway could treat pediatric gliomas

A known genetic pathway is active in many difficult-to-treat pediatric brain tumors known as low-grade gliomas. This finding offers a potential new target for the treatment of these cancers.

New technique allows breast cancer drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier

A new approach selectively permeabilizes the blood-brain barrier at sites of brain metastases, even those 200 times smaller than currently detectable in the clinic.

Avoiding a specific brain region preserves memory during WBRT

Limiting the amount of radiation absorbed in the hippocampal portion of the brain during whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) for brain metastases preserves memory function in patients for up to 6 months after treatment.

Survival improved by stereotactic radiosurgery alone in adults under 50 years with limited brain metastases

Overall survival was improved for adults age 50 years and younger with brain cancer who were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery that was not combined with whole-brain radiotherapy.

Promising therapeutic target for meningioma brain tumors

A specific protein has been found in nearly 100% of high-grade meningiomas, which is the most common form of brain tumor. This finding suggests a new target for therapies for a cancer that does not respond to current chemotherapy.

Inflammatory protein converts glioblastoma cells into the most aggressive version

A prominent protein activated by inflammation is the key instigator that converts glioblastoma multiforme cells to their most aggressive, untreatable form and promotes resistance to radiation therapy.

New therapy strategy for breast cancer that has spread to the brain

Cellular therapy and gene therapy have been successfully combined in a mouse model to develop a viable treatment strategy for breast cancer that has spread to a patient's brain.

Genes that drive brain cancer revealed

About 15% of patients with glioblastoma could receive personalized treatment with drugs currently used in other cancers, based on new research that has identified 18 genes responsible for driving glioblastoma multiforme.

Percentage of cancers linked to viruses potentially overestimated

A large-scale analysis of the association between DNA viruses and human malignancies suggests that many of the most common cancers are not associated with DNA viruses

Brain tumors in children have a common cause

When 96 pilocytic astrocytomas were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing, all had MAPK-pathway alterations. This indicates that pilocytic astrocytoma is predominantly a single-pathway disease.

Virus plus rapamycin kills glioblastoma stem cells

An oncolytic virus infected and killed both brain cancer stem cells and differentiated compartments of the common and deadly malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), when combined with the immunosuppressant drug rapamycin.

Aggressive brain cancer growth driven by metabolic enzyme

An abnormal metabolic pathway drives the growth of cancer cells in a particular glioblastoma subtype, according to new research.

Early poliovirus vaccine trial promising for recurrent glioblastoma

Attacking glioblastoma brain tumor cells with a modified poliovirus is showing encouraging early results in an ongoing study.

Bone marrow produces glioma treatment

Genetic material secreted by bone marrow cells was used to reduce glioma tumor volume in a recent study.

Personalized brain mapping technique preserves function after brain tumor surgery

The imaging technique of DTI allows neurosurgeons to visualize important pathways in the brain. This allows them to better adapt brain tumor surgeries and preserve language, visual function, and motor function while removing cancerous tissue.

Low T3 syndrome predicts unfavorable outcomes in surgical patients with brain tumor

Among patients undergoing surgery for a brain tumor, low T3 (triiodothyronine) syndrome has been found to be predictive of unfavorable clinical outcomes and depressive symptoms.

Poor thyroid function foretells worse outcome after brain-tumor surgery

Low levels of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) predict unfavorable outcomes after neurosurgery for the treatment of brain tumors.

Stem cells from fat may aid glioblastoma treatment

Adipose tissue may provide a more efficient, less costly, and less invasive source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) than bone marrow.

Dasatinib thwarts brain cancer metastasis after bevacizumab use

Combining the antiangiogenic bevacizumab with the kinase inhibitor dasatinib stopped glioblastoma metastasis after shrinking the tumors.

5-ALA fluorescence guide improves resection of glioblastoma multiforme

Fluorescence form 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has been used to guide resection of recurrent GBM. Before surgery, the patient ingests 5-ALA, then the tumor cells fluoresce intraoperatively in response to certain wavelengths of light.

Genomic sequencing identifies mutant 'drivers' of meningioma brain tumors

Large-scale genomic sequencing has revealed two DNA mutations that appear to drive about 15% of brain tumors known as meningiomas.

Using a growth forecast to predict brain tumor response to treatment

The forecast enables physicians to rapidly identify how well a tumor is responding to a particular therapy and allows a quick pivot to a new therapy in a critical time window if the current therapy is not effective.

ELTD1 protein may be new biomarker for glioma

ELTD1, a protein linked with angiogenesis, is the strongest candidate for a significant association with glioma out of nearly 200 possible markers.

Understanding brain tumor growth opens the door for nonsurgical treatment

Researchers have, for the first time, identified a new group of growth factor receptors that signal to brain tumors, which brings treatment of neurofibromatosis type 2 one step closer to a nonsurgical therapeutic option.

Smaller radiation fields can spare brain when treating tumors

Patients with aggressive brain tumors can be effectively treated with smaller radiation fields to spare the rest of the brain and preserve cognition.

Smaller radiation fields OK for glioblastoma treatment

Smaller radiation fields OK for glioblastoma treatment

For patients receiving radiotherapy for glioblastoma, use of clinical target volume margins as small as 5 mm does not lead to an increase in marginal failures.

PET imaging helps guide glioma treatment

Imaging with 18F-FLT positron emission tomography provides tumor-specific details accurately and noninvasively in persons with gliomas.

Study findings reveal key characteristics of meningiomas during pregnancy

Hemodynamic changes associated with pregnancy explain the growth of benign tumors in pregnant women. The study also identified some key characteristics associated with rapid growth of meningiomas in pregnant women.

Clues to cause of pediatric gliomas revealed

A cell growth pathway that is unusually active in pediatric brain tumors known as gliomas has been identified. This same growth pathway was previously identified as a critical contributor to brain tumor formation and growth in neurofibromatosis-1.

Uninsured with brain tumors have higher post-op mortality

Uninsured with brain tumors have higher post-op mortality

Insurance coverage affects in-hospital mortality for brain tumor patients undergoing craniotomy.

Everolimus shrinks astrocytoma brain tumors

The mTOR inhibitor dramatically reduced the volume of subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs) in persons with tuberous sclerosis complex.

Repeat glioblastoma surgeries may prolong life

Persons with glioblastoma who undergo repeated resections can have improved survival, indicate the findings of a recent study.

ONS Connections: Instrument can measure needs of caregivers of neuro-oncology patients

A needs assessment tool can identify specific needs of caregivers of patients with a primary malignant brain tumor.

Early surgery for low-grade gliomas better than waiting

A facility favoring early surgical resection of low-grade glioma had better overall survival rates than did a facility favoring watchful waiting.

Aggressive brain tumors can originate from a range of nervous system cells

Glioblastoma multiforme tumors can originate not only from the glial cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain and from neural stem cells, but also from other types of differentiated cells in the nervous system, including cortical neurons.

FDA Update - September/October 2012

FDA Update - September/October 2012

News from the FDA on bosutinib (Bosulif), ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap), and everolimus oral suspension tablets (Afinitor Disperz).

Intracranial tumors can be resected safely in elderly

Intracranial tumors can be resected safely in elderly

Short-term outcomes no worse with advanced age after craniotomy for malignant brain tumors.

Social outcomes good for most pediatric brain tumor survivors

Social outcomes good for most pediatric brain tumor survivors

Majority exhibit positive social adjustment over long term; risk factors ID'd for lasting issues.

Combining chemotherapy and radiation improves survival for some with rare brain cancer

Long-term follow-up results from two clinical trials have confirmed substantially longer survival for certain patients with anaplastic oligodendrogliomas if they are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy instead of radiation alone.

New radiation treatment method merciful for children with brain tumors

For children who undergo brain radiation therapy, permanent neurocognitive adverse effects are a significant risk. These risks arise because the radiation often encounters healthy tissue, which reduces the formation of new cells, particularly in the hippocampus.

Short-term fasting enhances brain tumor treatment

A controlled fasting period lasting no more than 48 hours improved the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in mice with gliomas.

Multiple tumors worsen glioblastoma prognosis

Persons with more than one glioblastoma tumor upon diagnosis experience significantly worse survival than do patients with a solitary lesion.

Low-Frequency Gene Variant Linked to Brain Tumors

Low-Frequency Gene Variant Linked to Brain Tumors

Strongest associations seen for oligodendroglial tumors, gliomas with IDH1/IDH2 mutations.

Stem-like cells help glioblastoma defy treatment

A slower-growing set of glioblastoma multiforme cells appears to be the source of the brain cancer's recurrence following standard drug therapy.

Genetic variant raises glioma risk but improves survival

A rare genetic variant has been found to increase a person's risk of developing glioma, but also cuts in half the person's risk of death.

PET/CT changes brain tumor treatment plans

PET/CT changes brain tumor treatment plans

Physicians have changed management recommendations for almost half of patients with known or suspected brain tumors after PET/CT findings.

Experimental drug shrinks melanoma tumors

Dabrafenib, which targets a genetic mutation that is active in half of melanoma cases, substantially and safely shrank metastatic tumors.

Modified stem cells keep glioblastoma at bay

Three patients with glioblastoma lived longer than predicted after receiving transplants of their own blood stem cells that had been gene-modified.

VEGF blockade: Optimizing chemotherapy drug uptake

VEGF blockade: Optimizing chemotherapy drug uptake

New research is showing that sequence and timing have significant impact on the efficacy of therapeutic regimens that include bevacizumab.

Therapeutic vaccine for brain cancer being studied

A vaccine for people newly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme—the most aggressive and highest-grade malignant glioma—is being tested at 20 sites nationwide in a phase II trial.

Bevacizumab delays return of ovarian cancer

The use of bevacizumab (Avastin) improved progression-free survival in women with ovarian cancer, particularly those at high risk for disease progression.

New approach improves skull-base tumor surgery

New approach improves skull-base tumor surgery

A new transvestibular endoscopic method for removing tumors at the base of skull features shorter operation and recovery periods, fewer complications, and no scars.

Arginine may combat immunosuppression in glioblastoma

A common amino acid may help restore function to cancer-fighting T-cells in persons with glioblastoma, say researchers.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS: FDA revokes Avastin breast cancer indication

The FDA has revoked its approval of the breast cancer indication for Avastin (bevacizumab). The anti-angiogenic therapy remains indicated for some colorectal, lung, brain, and kidney cancers.

Denmark results hold: Cell phones do not cause brain tumors

A large follow-up analysis of the complete Danish Cancer Registry showed no increased risk of tumors of the central nervous system, providing little evidence for a causal association.

FoxM1 protein may hold key to treatment of pediatric brain tumor

The regulatory protein FoxM1 is essential for the continued growth of medulloblastoma and is significantly and negatively correlated with survival, making it a useful prognostic marker.

Bevacizumab label now warns of ovarian, osteonecrosis risks

The FDA has announced labeling changes for bevacizumab (Avastin), indicated for the treatment of glioblastoma and colorectal, breast, kidney, and nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancers.

Anti-inflammatory may combat glioma-related seizures

Epileptic seizures—common among people with primary brain tumors—may be related to the release of excess levels of glutamate, and may be controlled with the drug sulfasalazine.

Antiseizure medications can affect survival in glioblastoma

Patients with glioblastoma—the most common and most malignant form of brain tumor in adults—may live longer if they take valproic acid rather than another type of agent to control seizures.

FDA group stands against bevacuzimab for breast cancer

The Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee recommended that the FDA withdraw its approval of bevacizumab's indication for breast cancer.

Enzyme inhibition may brighten glioma treatment outlook

Medications were able to block a newly identified cancer-promoting pathway and delay glioma growth in mice, suggesting a new treatment option to combat malignant glioma.

Understanding ototoxicity risks for pediatric oncology patients

Understanding ototoxicity risks for pediatric oncology patients

Audiometric testing, awareness of the symptoms, and knowledge of which drugs are ototoxic can help protect young cancer patient's hearing.

Experts discuss their predictions for radiation medicine

Experts discuss their predictions for radiation medicine

Presentations on emerging standards of care in radiotherapy from the Future of Radiation Medicine 2011 symposium are reviewed.

Exercise may extend survival in brain cancer

A recent study of patients with recurrent malignant glioma revealed exercise behavior to be a strong independent predictor of survival.

Modified stem cells protect healthy tissue from brain cancer treatment

Glioblastoma treatment may be made more effective by introducing a chemotherapy-resistant gene into normal bone marrow stem cells to protect them from the toxic effects of chemotherapy.

Childhood cancer survivors more likely to have future GI problems

People who underwent cancer therapy as children have a heightened risk of developing gastrointestinal (GI) complications later in life, a new study shows.

New treatments for pancreatic cancer

New treatments for pancreatic cancer

FOLFIRINOX was more effective than gemcitabine in increasing survival and delaying disease progression in metastatic pancreatic cancer, plus new indications for everolimus and sunitinib.

Portable glioblastoma treatment device receives approval

The FDA has approved a portable therapeutic system that can be used at home by adults who have glioblastoma that has recurred or progressed following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Overall cancer mortality rates decrease, but incidence of some cancers increases

Overall, cancer incidence rates fell approximately 1% annually and overall death rates decreased by an average of 1.6% annually between 2003 and 2007.

Bradykinin 2 receptor may stop glioma invasion

A laboratory version of a drug approved for use in Europe successfully stopped malignant brain-tumor cells from finding the blood vessels they need to thrive.

Low increased risk of second cancer after radiotherapy

Only a relatively small proportion of second cancers in adults is related to routine radiotherapy administered for initial disease, according to the findings of a recent study.

Gene deletion may explain many cases of glioblastoma

An important gene deletion appears to occur in as many as 1 of every 4 cases of glioblastoma—the most common adult brain cancer—scientists have found.

FDA moves to withdraw breast-cancer indication for Avastin

The FDA today recommended to remove the breast-cancer indication from the label of Avastin (bevacizumab) after reviewing the results of four clinical studies.

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