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 This is an exciting trial. An early pilot study showed pretty good results.

Disclaimer:  This company is a sponsor of the Musella Foundation

04/26/17 Surgical success in previously “inoperable” brain cancers        

 This may be an option when you are told a tumor is inoperable.

Disclosure: this company is a sponsor of the Musella Foundation

04/26/17 New Tupperware Fundraiser!        

 This fundraiser gives us 40% of your purchases!   Please remember to use this link if you buy Tupperware!

04/22/17 Brains Matter Awareness Fundraiser and Celebration Luncheon / Now Accepting Nomination for our 2017 National Hope Award        

 2 announcements from our good friends at the End Brain Cancer Initiative. I have seen Fran Drescher speak at events like this and she is hilarious!

04/21/17 Pediatric Brain Tumor Mutations are Detectable in Cerebrospinal Fluid        

 This is a huge advance, although it is a small study and needs to be validated. The concept of a liquid biopsy is that instead of trying to get tumor tissue directly, you get it from blood, or in this case, cerebral spinal fluid, which is a lot easier than brain surgery. You can usually only get a biopsy once or twice of the actual tumor. In some cases, it is dangerous to do a biopsy at all.  However, with a liquid biopsy, you can repeat it over time, and see how the tumor is responding to treatment.  We are funding the development of a new drug that targets the exact marker this researcher is testing for.  I can envision a day when you do this test, and personalize treatment based on it.  Then repeat to see how the tumor is trying to mutate around the drug and be able to change the treatment plan.

04/20/17 VBL Therapeutics Announces Positive DSMC Review in Phase 3 GLOBE Trial Investigating VB-111 in rGBM        

 It is a good sign that they are allowing the trial to go forward!

04/19/17 Effect of gross total resection (GTR) in WHO grade II astrocytomas: A SEER based survival analysis.        

 It is obvious that a gross total resection helps, and this study quantifies it.

04/19/17 Cloud Over Pediatric Oncologist and Brain Cancer Vaccine        

 This is a dificult article to interpret. I have met this doctor and we went over his research in detail. The results he showed me were pretty good - but nowhere near claiming to be a cure.  It was in line with the vaccine trials here in the USA. Some people do very well - others aren't helped at all.  I know of a few people doing well on his vaccine. I also know people who weren't heped by it.  We recently started tracking his treatment in our virtual trial project but don't have enough data to make a judegement on it yet.  

04/18/17 FDA Okays Clinical Trial of Injectable Brain Cancer Drug - See more at:        

 Interesting trial, but it looks like it will only be available in Austrailia for newly diagnosed gbm

04/17/17 CNS Oncology Publishes Data Suggesting Survival Benefit of Optune™ in Combination with Second Line Chemotherapies after Glioblastoma Recurrence        

 This study shows that Optune should be continued after the first recurrence, and use it in addition to a second line therapy.  Patients who had a recurrence and remained on Optune therapy did 31% better than those that discontinued Optune.

04/17/17 Survey on the use of animals in brain cancer research        

 We know this is a a controversial and emotional issue but we need to know your thoughts on the matter. Please fill out the survey.

04/14/17 Long-term Survival in Glioblastoma with Cytomegalovirus pp65-Targeted Vaccination        

 This small  study had amazing results.  Compared to matched historical controls, median progression free survival was  25.3 months in the vaccine group vs.   8.0 months in the historical control group and  median overall survival was 41.1 vs. 19.2 months.  Only 1 patient had significant side effects, an allergic reaction to the immune stimulant they used - which was discontinued and she was able to continue on the vaccine.

Disclaimer: I (Al Musella, DPM) am on the patient advisory board at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.

04/14/17 Medicenna Treats First Patient in Phase 2b Recurrent Glioblastoma Trial        

 This is an exciting trial.  Early (small)  trials had a few complete responses after a single treatment.

Disclaimer: Medicenna is a sponsor of our organization

04/12/17 Feinstein Institute examines use of antiparasitic drug as new treatment for brain tumors        

 Brilliant work.  If they are correct, this drug may be able to replace the Vincristine in PCV, making it more effective and much less toxic!

Disclosure: I am on the patient advisory board of the Feinstein Institute.

04/09/17 DFFN: Phase 3 Trial of TSC in GBM to Initiate in 2017        

 Results from earlier studies were impressive with " In the subgroup of patients considered inoperable, the chance of survival at two years for those who received TSC was increased by over 100 percent, as 40 percent in the TSC group were alive at two years compared to less than 20 percent in the control. "  


04/07/17 A Proposed New FDA Drug Approval Pathway: “Conditional Approval”        

 I came up with this idea a long time ago but couldn't get it implemented. However, I think the time has come where it is now possible,  see the blog for details! Let me know how you feel about it at

04/06/17 Retroviral replicating vector–mediated gene therapy achieves long-term control of tumor recurrence and leads to durable anticancer immunity        

Toca 511 is an experimental gene therapy being tested for recurrent glioblastoma.  This study shows long lasting immunity - actually a cure - in mice.  Even when they tried to inject a new tumor into these mice, the mice rejected the tumor. 

04/06/17 Tocagen wins "Most Successful Early Phase Trial" and "Excellence in Rare Disease Drug Development" awards!        

 I am proud to say that the Musella Foundation has supported the development of this treatment with $130,000 in grants over the last 5 years. Winning the "Most Successful Early Phase Trial" is really impressive when you consider this is across all cancer types, not just brain tumors. Congratulations  to Tocagen!

04/06/17 Is more better? The impact of extended adjuvant temozolomide in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a secondary analysis of EORTC and NRG Oncology/RTOG.        

 This is the second recent study to suggest that 6 months of Temozolomide might be optimal.  However, this was not a randomized prospective trial.  I would think each case is different and if things are going well, it may be worth using Temozolomide longer. If not, try something else.

04/05/17 Bristol-Myers’ checkpoint star Opdivo fails a PhIII study for glioblastoma        

 I did not really expect it to do well by itself. I feel that it may be part of a combination approach with other immune therapies. We are funding such a combination trial now!

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