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Vaccine Targeting Brain Tumors Seems Safe in Study

Posted 15 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – An experimental vaccine therapy shows promise in treating people with deadly glioblastoma brain cancer, researchers behind a small, preliminary study report. With current standard care, half of glioblastoma patients die within 15 months of diagnosis. Four of the 11 patients in this study survived for more than five years after vaccine/chemotherapy treatment, the Duke Cancer Institute research team said. "This is a small study, but it's one in a sequence of clinical trials we have conducted to explore the use of an immunotherapy that specifically targets a protein on glioblastoma tumors," said lead author Dr. Kristen Batich. "While not a controlled efficacy study, the survival results were surprising, and they suggest the possibility that combining the vaccine with a more intense regimen of this chemotherapy promotes a strong cooperative benefit," she added in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Glioblastoma Multiforme, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

'Electric Cap' Might Help Fight a Deadly Brain Tumor

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – A cap that zaps tumors with electrical currents may boost survival in patients with a deadly brain cancer, new research suggests. The device is worn on the head and exposes glioblastoma cells to a rapidly alternating sequence of low-intensity electrical frequencies. This interrupts cancer cells' ability to function, the researchers said. According to study author Dr. Roger Stupp, a professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, the cap is "an entirely different way to treat cancer. "Our results demonstrate a proof-of-concept that this treatment modality actually works, and can prevent tumor cells from growing and dividing," he added. "And it does increase the survival rate at two years, three years, and even at five years, in a substantial amount," said Stupp, who noted that the cap is "the first treatment ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme

Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 – Overall cancer death rates in the United States continue to fall, but racial gaps persist, a new report says. Death rates fell between 2010 and 2014 for 11 of the 16 most common cancers in men and for 13 of the most common types in women, including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. However, death rates rose for cancers of the liver, pancreas and brain in men and for the liver and uterus in women. And improvements in cancer survival weren't equal for all Americans. "While this report found that five-year survival for most types of cancer improved among both blacks and whites over the past several decades, racial disparities for many common cancers have persisted, and they may have increased for prostate cancer and female breast cancer," said Dr. Lynne Penberthy. She's associate director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic

Seniors With Brain Cancer May Have Better Treatment Option

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Combined chemotherapy and radiation treatment appears to extend the lives of older patients with brain cancer, new research finds. The study involved more than 560 older patients with glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain cancer in adults. The average age of disease onset is 65 and there is no cure, according to the study. On average, patients who received the chemotherapy pill temozolomide plus a short course of radiation therapy survived two months longer than those who underwent radiation alone, an international team of researchers found. And, many patients in the combination treatment group survived nearly 14 months – about twice that compared to those who received radiation alone, the researchers reported. "Everyone benefited to a varying degree," said co-principal investigator Dr. Normand Laperriere. "There has been no clear standard of care ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Temodar, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Diagnosis and Investigation, Malignant Glioma, Temozolomide

Chemo Drug May Combat Serious Brain Tumor After All

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – Some patients with a deadly brain tumor may respond to drugs previously believed to be ineffective against the cancer, a new study says. The findings highlight the importance of properly categorizing glioblastoma tumors in order to best tailor treatment to each patient, according to the researchers. Glioblastoma tumors are diagnosed in about 12,000 people in the United States each year. Half of patients with this type of tumor die within 15 months of diagnosis, the researchers said. There was hope that lives could be extended with a class of chemotherapy drugs called anti-angiogenic compounds. These drugs were designed to block the growth of new blood vessels in the tumor in an attempt to starve the tumor of oxygen and nutrients. But recently published findings from two large clinical trials concluded that an anti-angiogenic drug called bevacizumab did not ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Avastin, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Bevacizumab

Some Brain Cancer Patients Have Radiation Options: Study

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – For some brain cancer patients, pinpoint radiation of tumors, known as stereotactic radiosurgery, appears to do less damage to mental abilities than whole brain radiation, a new study finds. Neither technique cures cancer that has spread to the brain, but both temporarily stop tumors from growing and equally extend survival, researchers said. Stereotactic radiosurgery is nonsurgical radiation that precisely targets tumor areas. When just a few lesions exist, this directed type of radiation appears to provide a better quality of life by not altering short-term memory and thinking skills, the study found. "We now have a better understanding of the toxicity of whole brain radiation, and we know that the toxicity of whole brain radiation is worse for patients than the recurrence of their cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Brown, from the department of radiation ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, History - Radiation Therapy, Angioblastoma

Brain Tumors More Common in Better Educated, Wealthier Folks: Study

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – People who have a college education, a professional career or a big paycheck may be more likely to be diagnosed with a brain tumor than people who are less well-off or not as educated, a new study reports. Medical data for more than 4.3 million residents of Sweden revealed that people with higher education or better jobs were more likely to be found with one of three types of brain tumor – glioma, meningioma or acoustic neuroma. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that achievement in life increases the risk of brain tumors, said lead researcher Amal Khanolkar, a research associate with University College London's Institute of Child Health. People with money or a better education might be better able to notice something's wrong with their health. "People with higher education are perhaps more likely to detect symptoms and seek medical care earlier on," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme

Extensive Surgery Best for an Aggressive Brain Cancer: Study

Posted 16 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 16, 2016 – When it comes to battling a particularly aggressive form of brain tumor, more extensive surgeries may be best to boost patient survival, researchers have concluded. The brain cancer – called glioblastoma multiforme – is often treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, the ideal combination of treatments for this cancer isn't clear. One expert said glioblastoma surgeries are especially complicated. "Since this tumor infiltrates normal brain and is often indistinguishable from it, it is difficult to know where the tumor ends and normal brain begins," explained Dr. Raj Narayan, a neurosurgeon who reviewed the new study findings. "Therefore, an aggressive effort to remove 'all' of the tumor runs the risk of causing increased neurological deficits such as paralysis and loss of speech," said Narayan, who is chair of neurosurgery at North ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme

Novel Brain Cancer Treatment Taps Into Sound Waves

Posted 15 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 15, 2016 – Brain cancer patients might benefit from an implantable ultrasound device that appears to enhance chemotherapy treatment, a small study says. Researchers from the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and other French institutions tested the experimental device on 15 patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a particularly deadly brain cancer. When the so-called SonoCloud was activated, sound waves opened the blood-brain barrier, letting in more chemotherapy, they said. "The walls of the blood vessels in the brain are very difficult to cross for certain molecules," said Frederic Sottilini, CEO of Paris-based CarThera, the company developing SonoCloud. While this blood-brain barrier protects the brain from toxins, "it means a challenge for treating brain diseases and disorders, as 99 percent of potential therapeutic drugs are blocked by it," he said. "Scientists ... Read more

Related support groups: Glioblastoma Multiforme, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Brain Cancer Treatment Shows Promise in Early Trial

Posted 1 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 – An experimental viral treatment may extend the lives of patients with a hard-to-treat brain cancer, researchers say. For the phase 1 study, patients with recurrent glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain tumor, were injected with an engineered virus. Survival was 13.6 months among 43 patients treated with the viral therapy, compared with 7.1 months for patients who did not receive the new therapy, according to the study. "For the first time, this clinical data shows that this treatment, used in combination with an antifungal drug, kills cancer cells and appears to activate the immune system against them while sparing healthy cells," said study co-leader Dr. Timothy Cloughesy. He is director of the neuro-oncology program at the University of California, Los Angeles. "This approach also has potential in additional types of the disease, such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Diagnosis and Investigation, Malignant Glioma, Head Imaging

Researchers Find 8 Immune Genes in Aggressive Brain Cancer

Posted 25 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 25, 2016 – Researchers have identified immune genes that may affect how long people live after diagnosis with a common type of brain cancer. If confirmed in other studies, the researchers say their findings could lead to improved treatment in the future. The type of brain cancer in the study is glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-growing tumor. People with this type of cancer survive an average of less than two years, even after treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the study authors said. "We've had luck with other types of cancer in removing the brakes on the immune system to allow it to fight the tumors, but this has not been the case with glioblastoma," said study author Dr. Anhua Wu, of First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China. "If our discovery of these genes is validated in other studies, we could use this 'gene signature' to ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Brain Tumor, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Head & Neck Surgery, Diagnosis and Investigation, Malignant Glioma, Head Imaging

FDA Medwatch Alert: BiCNU (carmustine for injection): FDA Alert - Counterfeit Product Discovered in Some Foreign Countries

Posted 16 May 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is informing health care professionals that a counterfeit version of the FDA approved cancer drug, BiCNU (carmustine for injection) 100 mg, has been detected in some foreign countries. There is no indication at this time that counterfeit BiCNU has entered the legitimate U.S. drug supply chain and no indication that any U.S. patients have received counterfeit BiCNU. See the FDA Alert for more information, including product photos and affected lot numbers. BACKGROUND: The authentic product is approved to treat different types of brain cancer, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s). BiCNU is manufactured by Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and distributed in the United States by Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc. BiCNU is available as a vial of BiCNU and dehydrated alcohol co-packaged together. While the NDC on the outer package of the authentic and counterfeit ver ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Malignant Glioma, BiCNU

Could Canine Research Offer Clues to Human Brain Cancer?

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Dogs may help scientists unleash the secrets to a malignant brain tumor in humans. Research across 25 dog breeds has uncovered three genes thought to increase the risk of glioma brain tumors. The findings may offer clues about how these common and often untreatable tumors form in people, according to the study authors. Gliomas are the most common type of primary malignant brain tumors in people and the second most common in dogs, the researchers said. Certain breeds – such as Boxers, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers – have a higher risk for gliomas than others. This suggests a mix of genes may influence glioma risk, said study co-leader Katarina Truve, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Two of the genes identified by the researchers have additional links to cancer, Truve and her colleagues said in the report published May 12 in the journal PLOS ... Read more

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

Could Talk Therapy Ease Chemo-Related Memory Issues?

Posted 2 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – A type of psychotherapy might help cancer survivors deal with the long-term thinking problems some experience after chemotherapy, researchers say. It's estimated that about half of those who undergo chemotherapy for cancer develop what's often called "chemo brain." For instance, they may have trouble following conversations or remembering the steps in a project, according to background notes with the new study. Although usually mild, these changes can affect quality of life, job performance and relationships, said the researchers from the Eastern Maine Medical Center and Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Bangor, Maine. The researchers developed a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program called Memory and Attention Adaptation Training to help cancer survivors prevent or manage these memory problems. Their study involved 47 breast cancer survivors who underwent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Fluorouracil, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, Ovarian Cancer, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Hydroxyurea

Chemo May Prolong Lives of Some Brain Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 6 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 – Adding chemotherapy to radiation treatment may add years to the lives of people with certain slow-growing brain tumors, a new study finds. The findings come from a long-term follow-up of patients who took part in a trial that began in 1998. All were treated for grade 2 gliomas – tumors that begin in brain cells called glial cells and are relatively slow-growing. Earlier results from the trial had shown that adding chemotherapy to the standard treatment of radiation – with or without surgery – can help keep tumors from progressing. Now there's proof that it prolongs people's lives, too. "Until now, there hasn't been any therapy known to improve life expectancy for these patients," said lead researcher Dr. Jan Buckner. He is the chair of oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. In the United States, nearly 23,000 adults were diagnosed with brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, History - Radiation Therapy

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Avastin, hydroxyurea, Temodar, bevacizumab, procarbazine, temozolomide, carmustine, Matulane, Gliadel, BiCNU