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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, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Breast Cancer, Prevention, 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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, Tasigna, Ovarian Cancer, 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

Brain Cancers Both Common and Deadly Among Teens, Young Adults: Report

Posted 24 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 – Brain cancers are the most common cause of cancer deaths among teens and young adults, but the types of cancers that strike can vary widely as people age, a new report shows. "For these individuals – who are finishing school, pursuing their careers and starting and raising young families – a brain tumor diagnosis is especially cruel and disruptive," said Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO of the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). "This report enables us for the first time to zero in on the types of tumors occurring at key [age] intervals over a 25-year time span, to help guide critical research investments and strategies for living with a brain tumor that reflect the patient's unique needs," Wilson said in an association news release. The ABTA-funded report, which used data from 51 separate cancer registries that represented 99.9 percent of the U.S. ... Read more

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

Allergies, Asthma Tied to Lower Risk of Brain Cancer

Posted 5 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 – People with respiratory allergies, asthma and the skin condition eczema may be less likely to develop glioma brain cancer, a new study suggests. The international team of researchers looked at more than 4,500 glioma patients and almost 4,200 people without brain cancer. The investigators found that a history of respiratory allergies, asthma and eczema was associated with a reduced risk for glioma. People with respiratory allergies or eczema were 30 percent less likely to develop the deadly brain cancer than those without such conditions, the study found. Although the study found an association between allergic conditions and a lower risk of gliomas, it wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship between those factors. The study was released online Feb. 5 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. "Many other studies have shown this ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Eczema, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever, Asthma - Acute, Brain Tumor, Anaphylaxis, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Head and Neck Cancer, Allergic Asthma, Malignant Glioma, Head Imaging

Electromagnetic Waves May Help Fight Deadly Brain Cancer

Posted 15 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 – Low-intensity electromagnetic waves might help slow a quick-growing and deadly form of brain cancer, researchers report. Patients with glioblastoma experienced slightly better overall survival and delayed recurrence of their brain cancer if their heads were exposed to a type of electromagnetic field therapy alongside conventional chemotherapy, the Swiss research team found. This therapy, called tumor-treating fields, already is approved in the United States and could prove useful in tackling other forms of cancer, said lead researcher Dr. Roger Stupp, chairman of the department of oncology and cancer center at the University Hospital Zurich. "This treatment may soon become a valuable addition to many situations where improved local tumor control by a noninvasive treatment is of importance," Stupp said. The tumor-treating field device resembles a swimmer's cap, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Head and Neck Cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Diagnosis and Investigation

Optune Device Approved for Newly Diagnosed Brain Cancer

Posted 6 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday expanded its approval for the Optune device to include newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. Optune involves placing electrodes on the surface of the scalp to deliver low-intensity pulses called "tumor treatment fields," which are designed to damage growing tumor cells, the agency said in a news release. The portable device, powered by battery or plugged into a common electric outlet, can be used at home or work. It's been newly sanctioned to treat just-diagnosed patients, in combination with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide. Clinical studies of the device for this purpose showed people treated with the Optune/drug combination lived an average of three months longer than those treated with the drug alone. "Patients newly diagnosed with this challenging and aggressive form of brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Temodar, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Temozolomide

Removing All Visible Cancer Is Key to Treating Aggressive Brain Tumors

Posted 14 Sep 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2015 – Surgery that removes all visible cancer significantly improves the chances of survival for children with aggressive brain tumors, especially girls. That's the finding of a study that included almost 100 children treated for high-grade glioma brain cancer between 1988 and 2010. These rare brain tumors occur in fewer than one in 100,000 children and teens. After two years, the overall survival rate was 45 percent; 25 percent had no cancer progression. Surgery to remove all visible signs of cancer was successful in one-third of the children. Their median survival was 3.4 years, compared with 1.6 years for those who did not have all visible cancer removed. Median means half of the children lived longer, half did not. The survival benefit after successful surgery was much greater in girls, with median survival of 8.1 years. Boys had a median survival of 2.4 years. ... Read more

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

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