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  • Outsmarting Brain Tumors: A Conference on Brain Tumors for Patients, Families and Caregivers - September 23,2017 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA

    The multi-disciplinary faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery offers this conference to bring participants up to date on the most recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of adult brain tumors. This free conference seeks to educate patients and their caregivers on the latest research that has been translated into treatments for brain tumors.

    LOCATION

    Miramonte Indian wells Resort and Spa
    Florentine II
    45000 Indian Wells Lane
    Indian Wells, CA 92210

    Self-Parking is Complimentary

    To register, please call 1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771) or online at www.cedars-sinai.edu/neuroconferences



Brain Tumor News!


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08/18/17 Reengineering Immune System Cells to Fight Glioblastoma        

 This may lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of most cancers!






08/16/17 CHOP to lead new pediatric data resource center for research in childhood cancer, birth defects        

 This is the type of effort needed to make headway in the fight against cancer (and birth defects).   The Musella Foundation funded early work for this project which led to the big NIH grant which is making it a reality!




08/15/17 Curtana Pharmaceuticals Granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for CT-179 for the Treatment of Gliomas        

 This targets Oligo2, which sounds like it might be a great target 




08/15/17 Curtana Pharmaceuticals Granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for CT-179 for the Treatment of Gliomas        

 This targets Oligo2, which sounds like it might be a great target 




08/15/17 Curtana Pharmaceuticals Granted FDA Orphan Drug Designation for CT-179 for the Treatment of Gliomas        

 This targets Oligo2, which sounds like it might be a great target 




08/14/17 Successful use of equine anti-thymocyte globulin (ATGAM) for fulminant myocarditis secondary to nivolumab therapy.        

 This is a very rare, but very serious,  side effect of checkpoint inhibitors. Although it is only 1 patient, keep this in mind if you hear of this side effect.




08/14/17 Options to Treat a Glioblastoma        

 I was asked for my opinion on what I would do if I had a newly diagnosed gbm.. here is my response.  We can discuss it in the braintumor-treatments online group https://virtualtrials.com/braintumor-treatments.cfm

 




07/29/17 Early initiation of chemoradiation following index craniotomy is associated with decreased survival in high-grade glioma.        

 Very interesting study. It says that starting radiation therapy earlier than we usual do actually is worse for the patient. The study was performed just by looking at billing records.  I would like to see more research on this. Perhaps look at the reasons radiation was started earlier. Maybe those patients had a lot of residual tumor so they were rushed into radiation as there was less space for recurrence? Or had some other medical reasons.




07/24/17 Novocure™ Announces a Phase 1b Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Safety of Marizomib and Temozolomide in Combination with Optune® as Adjuvant Therapy in Patients with Glioblastoma        

 All new trials should consider adding an Optune arm. Currently, a few interesting trials are not allowing patients to use Optune at the same time as the trial.  I feel that is not ethical. Optune has been shown to more than double the 5 year survival rate for adult GBM.  If you have to make a choice between trying Optune with a proven benefit and minimal side effects to trying an experimental therapy with no track record and inknown side effects, I would choose Optune.  [Disclaimer: Novocure is a sponsor of the Musella Foundation]




07/23/17 Glioblastoma: New tools against brain cancer        

This is one of my favorite new treatments. It is too early to tell how well it works, but it looks promising.  Disclaimer: I am on the patient advisory board at the Brain Tumor Center at Duke (but have no financial involvement in this treatment)








07/19/17 Human CAR-T Cell Glioblastoma Trial Generates Clues for Improving Treatment        

 This was too small to tell if the treatment works, but it did prove that these cells can cross the blood brain barrier- which is a major step forward.  CAR-T cell therapy is one of the most exciting new therapies available. Recently the first CAR-T cell therapy for leukemia was approved by the FDA, after trials showing very high long term remission rates after a single injection!




07/19/17 The Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery Presents Outsmarting Brain Tumors: A Conference on Brain Tumors for Patients, Families and Caregivers        

 This is an excellent conference for patients and anyone interested in brain tumors.




07/19/17 HOW NOT TO DIE: ‘STUPID CANCER’ COMMUNITY HELPS ANGRY YOUNG PEOPLE LIVE        

 Nice Newsweek article about my friend Matthew Zachary  who created "Stupid Cancer" - an organization for young adults facing cancer.




07/06/17 Comparative Study of Adjuvant Temozolomide Six Cycles Versus Extended 12 Cycles in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme.        

Comparative Study of Adjuvant Temozolomide Six Cycles Versus Extended 12 Cycles in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme.         6 months of Temozolomide for newly diagnosed patients became the standard because the original trials specified 6 months. That was done to speed up the trials. They didn't try various lengths of time and picked the best. This study looks at using 6 vs 12 months or Temozolomide.  It is a small study - so you have to be careful, but using the 12 months of temozolomide increased overall survival by over 50% but did triple the chances of having toxicity.




07/06/17 Optimizing bevacizumab dosing in glioblastoma: less is more.        

The "standard" dosage of Avastin for brain tumors was not determined by a trial.  Other cancers used 10mg/kg.  The original small trials for brain tumors used 5mg/kg because of a worry about causing bleeding in the brain - which didn't happen, and it worked well. Then when larger brain tumor trials started up they went with the standard 10mg/kg dose other cancers use.  Some brain tumor doctors still use the 5mg/kg lower dose and feel it works as well or better with less side effects. This study goes a step further and says  less than 3mg may work as well or better with much less side effects. May be worth considering. They had a big increase in survival but there weren't enough patients to say that is significant statistically

 

 




07/06/17 Extent of resection and Carmustine wafer implantation safely improve survival in patients with a newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a single center experience of the current practice.        

Extent of resection and Carmustine wafer implantation safely improve survival in patients with a newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a single center experience of the current practice.         Gliadel wafer is a biodegradable implant that slowly releases chemotherapy at the tumor site.  It was approved on 1995 and it's popularity has waned. One of the main reasons is that many clinical trials said that using Gliadel wafer makes you ineligible for the trials.  Some major brain tumor centers use this routinely on everyone who has a glioblastoma surgery, and others almost never use it.  It is worth asking your surgeon about.  This report shows that it is associated with longer progression free survival and overall survival.




06/24/17 No measurable gadolinium in children’s brains even after multiple doses        

 One less thing to worry about!




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