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Brain Tumor News

Related terms: Brain Cancer, Brain Tumor, metastatic, Cancer, Brain, Intracranial Tumors

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer

Patients with Low-Grade Brain Tumors Living Longer

Posted 1 Jul 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, JuLY 1, 2015 – Survival has improved for adults with low-grade brain tumors, known as gliomas, a new study finds. Low-grade gliomas grow slowly but are deadly. Because they're uncommon, they are not well-studied, said the researchers from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. The best ways to manage these tumors are also controversial. There is little consensus on whether or when to use radiation or what type of surgery or chemotherapy patients should undergo. "An understanding of how our treatments affect the survival of low-grade glioma patients will better enable us to help these patients," senior study author Dr. Clark Chen, vice chairman of research and academic development in neurosurgery, said in a university news release. For the study, published July 1 in Neuro-Oncology: Clinical Practice, researchers examined data compiled in a U.S. cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Malignant Glioma

Technology May Help Surgeons Tell Brain Cancer From Healthy Tissue

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 – Researchers are making progress in developing an ultrasound-like technology that helps brain surgeons distinguish between brain tumors and normal tissue. In the new study, researchers report how the technology worked on human brain tissue. But, the technology hasn't yet been tested in living people. "Hopefully this summer we'll unroll the first preliminary studies, and we'll begin to use it in patients," said study co-author Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, professor of neurological surgery and oncology and director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Currently, he said, "we agonize because many times we can't tell what is tumor and what is normal brain." The study appears in the June 17 issue of Science Translational Medicine. About 70,000 people are diagnosed with brain cancer in the United States ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Genetic Characteristics of Brain Tumors Key to Treatment: Studies

Posted 11 Jun 2015 by

Treatment of brain tumors can be improved by first determining their genetic features, rather than the current standard practice of analyzing tissue samples under a microscope, according to two new studies. Experts say the findings published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine are an important advance in what's called precision medicine, in which cancer treatments are individualized according to the genetic characteristics of patients' tumors, The New York Times reported. This approach could change the way that thousands of brain tumor patients are diagnosed and treated. "Prognosis is going to be more accurately delineated by these kinds of genetic subtypes, outstripping the value of looking through a microscope," Dr. David Langer, chief of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told The Times He was not involved in the studies. The use of genetics to help guide ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Diagnosis and Investigation

Blood Thinners OK for Cancers That Spread to Brain, Study Finds

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – Blood-thinning drugs are safe for treating blood clots in patients with cancer that has spread to the brain from other areas of the body, according to new research. Cancer normally increases a person's risk of blood clots, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Hematology. When a cancer patient develops a clot, a blood thinner – also called an anticoagulant – is often added to the cancer treatment regimen to prevent the risk of blood clots traveling to the lungs. Such a clot can be fatal. However, if cancer spreads from other parts of the body to the brain (called brain metastases), doctors are hesitant to prescribe blood thinners because of concern they might cause bleeding in the head, which is already a risk for these patients, the study authors added. The new findings show that the use of blood thinners in these patients ... Read more

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Targeted Radiation to Treat Brain Tumors May Be Best: Study

Posted 1 Jun 2015 by

SUNDAY, May 31, 2015 – Using radiation on the entire brain to prevent new tumors from forming in patients whose cancer has spread to the brain can have a devastating effect on their ability to think and remember, compared with more targeted treatment, new findings show. Nearly all patients who received whole-brain radiation therapy – 92 percent – experienced a decline in memory and verbal ability, researchers reported Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago. By comparison, only 64 percent of patients who were given targeted radiosurgery, which focuses on a limited and tightly controlled area of the brain, experienced declines in mental ability. "Essentially, the brain does not like to be irradiated," said senior study author Dr. Jan Buckner, a professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The study also found that patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, History - Radiation Therapy

Harnessing the Power of the Poliovirus as a Cancer Cure

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by

Polio, a highly infectious and crippling disease, was certainly one of the most feared viruses in the 20th century. Each year, thousands of children were left paralyzed. Polio has been successfully eliminated in the U.S. for decades due to a widespread vaccine program. So why would a group of researchers be interested in injecting the poliovirus directly into the brain of a patient? Clinical trials are now ongoing and research is revisiting the poliovirus in new and hopeful ways, ironically to help battle deadly cancers. Glioblastoma multiforme is one of the most common and fatal brain cancers. Gliobastomas are aggressive tumors that occur in the brain or spinal cord leading to headaches, nausea, seizures, blurred vision and a host of other unpleasant effects. The tumors grow quickly and often leave patients with only months to live. Treatments for glioblastoma involve surgery to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma

Privately Insured Brain Tumor Patients May Fare Better

Posted 9 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 – Brain tumor patients with private health insurance do better than those who have Medicaid coverage or are uninsured, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from more than a half-million brain tumor-related hospitalizations in the United States between 2002 and 2011. Compared to uninsured or Medicaid patients, those with private insurance had fewer medical complications and were less likely to develop new health problems in the hospital. They also had shorter hospital stays and were 25 percent less likely to die while in the hospital, the researchers found. Patients with private health insurance were also less likely to end up in a nursing home, rehabilitation center or hospice after leaving the hospital, according to the study recently published online in the journal Neurosurgery. By the time brain tumor patients are hospitalized, much has already occurred ... Read more

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New Techniques Outline Tumors' Location in the Brain

Posted 15 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 – Brain tumors are notoriously tricky for surgeons, who may leave too much cancerous tissue behind or cut into vital, healthy brain tissue. However, two new studies describe devices that help surgeons and nonsurgical physicians better understand the outline and location of cancerous tissue in the brain, potentially improving outcomes for patients. One device, a handheld fiber optic probe, could help surgeons see cancer cells lying at the margins of brain tumors in real time, so they can be removed with more accuracy. The other device is a PET scan that allows doctors to gauge the size and area of a brain tumor. Seeing the outlines of tumors more accurately might help physicians better assess the benefits of chemotherapy or radiation treatment, the researchers explained. Both studies came as welcome news to experts. "We are always happy to see new research that is ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Brain Tumor, Diagnosis and Investigation

Use of 'the Pill' Tied to Higher Risk for Rare Brain Cancer

Posted 22 Jan 2015 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 – The risk for developing a rare form of brain cancer known as glioma appears to go up with long-term use of hormonal contraceptives such as the Pill, new Danish research suggests. Women under 50 with a glioma "were 90 percent more likely to have been using hormonal contraceptives for five years or more, compared with women from the general population with no history of brain tumor," said study leader Dr. David Gaist. However, the Danish study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, and Gaist stressed that the findings "need to be put in context" for women because "glioma is very rare." How rare? Only five out of every 100,000 Danish women between the ages of 15 and 49 develop the condition each year, according to Gaist, a professor of neurology at Odense University Hospital. He said that figure includes women who take contraceptives such as the birth control pill. So, ... Read more

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Aspirin Might Help Treat Brain Tumor Tied to Hearing Loss

Posted 30 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 – Aspirin might slow the growth of a noncancerous type of brain tumor that can lead to hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even death, according to new research. For the study, which was published in the February issue of the journal Otology and Neurotology, researchers examined data from nearly 700 people who were diagnosed with vestibular schwannomas (also called acoustic neuromas). There is no approved medication to treat these tumors, which grow on the nerves that connect the brain to the ears, the researchers said. Current treatment options include surgery or radiation therapy, both of which can cause serious complications, the researchers said. Their analysis revealed that the rate of tumor growth was slower in patients who took aspirin than in those who didn't take the drug. Age and gender did not affect the findings. "Our results suggest a ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Tinnitus, Brain Tumor, Ecotrin, Bayer Aspirin, Bufferin, Aspergum, Buffered Aspirin, Low Dose ASA, ZORprin, Ascriptin Enteric, Easprin, St Joseph Aspirin, Aspir-Low, Aspirin Low Strength, YSP Aspirin, Aspirtab, Extra Strength Bayer, Miniprin, Acuprin 81

Modified Polio Virus May Help Fight Brain Tumors, Study Suggests

Posted 23 May 2013 by

THURSDAY, May 23 – A modified version of the polio virus might one day help fight brain tumors, preliminary research suggests. Scientists at Duke Cancer Institute said the investigational therapy, known as PVSRIPO, uses an engineered form of the virus that is harmless to normal cells, but attacks cancer cells. The therapy shows promise in the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain tumor, they said. "These early results are intriguing," principal investigator Dr. Annick Desjardins, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, said in a news release. "Current therapies for glioblastoma are limited because they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and often do not specifically attack the tumor. This treatment appears to overcome those problems." The findings are scheduled for presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis

Gauging Brain Cancer Survival Time May Get Easier: Study

Posted 10 Apr 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, April 10 – Life expectancy of people with aggressive brain cancer may be easier to determine with a new method under development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers say. The UAB researchers found that patients with an overactive version of a specific enzyme live less than half as long as those with a less active version. This overactive enzyme can help predict how resistant the brain cancer will be to chemotherapy, and also help doctors arrive at treatment recommendations, the researchers said. In conducting the study, published April 10 in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers examined tumors from 84 patients with a form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This deadly and aggressive cancer quickly becomes resistant to available treatments. With a combination of surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy drug temozolomide, patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma, Anaplastic Astrocytoma, Angioblastoma

Brain Surgery Eases Compulsive Eating in 10-Year-Old Girl

Posted 9 Apr 2013 by

TUESDAY, April 9 – Removal of a rare type of benign brain tumor helped bring a young girl's compulsive eating under control, doctors report. The 10-year-old had what's known as a hypothalamic hamartoma – a tumor in or around the brain's hypothalamus. One of the symptoms of this type of tumor is extremely early (precocious) puberty, as well as compulsive eating and excessive weight gain. As reported online April 9 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, by age 10 the girl already weighed 227 pounds and was gaining an average of five more pounds each month. Medication and counseling did nothing to curb her overeating. Despite the fact that there was no record of it having been done before, neurosurgeons at the University of Texas-Houston and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston decided to remove the girl's hypothalamic hamartoma in an effort to curb her overeating. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Eating Disorder, Brain Tumor

Scientists Link More Genes to Common Brain Tumor

Posted 24 Jan 2013 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 – Abnormalities in just five genes account for the majority of meningioma brain tumors, according to a new study. Meningiomas are the most common type of brain tumor. They are usually benign but are cancerous in about 10 percent of cases. Surgery is the only treatment for meningiomas, but this finding could help lead to new therapies tailored to individual patients, according to the study authors. Previous research found that about half of meningiomas were linked to a mutation or deletion of a gene called neurofibromin 2. The genetic origin of the other types of meningiomas was unknown. In this study, researchers analyzed samples from 300 meningiomas and found that abnormalities in four other genes are also linked to the brain tumors. Each of these genes tends to be associated with tumors in different areas of the brain. Location can indicate how likely meningiomas ... Read more

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