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Brain Tumor News!


Note: The comments under each article title are the opinion of our president, Al Musella, DPM,
and do not reflect official policy of the Musella Foundation!
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06/13/24 Medicenna Reports Significant Survival Benefit in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma Following Treatment with Bizaxofusp When Compared to a Matched External Control Arm at the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting        

Bizaxofusp (also known as MDNA55) is an immunotoxin that targets and kills cancer cells expressing the interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R), which is overexpressed in glioblastoma tumors. The latest evidence presented at ASCO 2024 showed that a single treatment of this drug with convection-enhanced delivery directly to the tumor site resulted in median overall survival of 13.5 months and a 12-month overall survival of 56.7% for patients with unresectable recurrent GBM. Additionally, patients who experienced tumor control (based on RANO 2.0 imaging criteria) following treatment had significantly improved median overall survival.  Based on these results, a Phase 3 trial is in the works.



06/12/24 Musella Foundation Earns a Four-Star Rating From Charity Navigator        

We are honored to announce that Charity Navigator has awarded us the highest possible rating for the second consecutive year. Our commitment to transparency and accountability is reflected in our spotless 26-year history of passing internal audits conducted by our accountants. This year, we also underwent an extensive external audit to verify the integrity of our processes and the proper use of donations, which we passed with flying colors!

We have several impactful projects in the pipeline that can significantly advance our fight against this disease. However, we need your support now more than ever. Donations are crucial to accelerating our progress, and we also welcome volunteers to assist with our fundraising efforts.



06/03/24 Brain Cancer Support and Solutions Alliance Launched to Improve Care and Outcomes for Brain Tumor Patients        

We're very proud to announce this partnership with Head for the Cure and Cancer Commons. This alliance will help expand our impact by providing critical support to a broader network of brain tumor patients and caregivers. 



06/03/24 VBI Vaccines Announces New Tumor Response Data from Ongoing Randomized Controlled Phase 2b Study of VBI-1901 in Recurrent Glioblastoma Patients        

VBI-1901 is a vaccine that uses enveloped virus like particle (eVLP) technology to target two cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigens - gB and pp65. In the Phase 1/2a study for recurrent glioblastoma (n=16 patients), median overall survival was 12.9 months; patients who achieved a partial tumor response or stable disease (7/16) all reached a minimum survival of 12 months, and 1 patient survived at least 40 months. The Phase 2b trial is still in early stages, but 3/7 patients treated with the vaccine so far have achieved disease control (stable disease or partial response). We hope to see additional interim data reported by the end of this year.



06/03/24 METIS Phase 3 Clinical Trial Met Primary Endpoint Significantly Delaying Time to Intracranial Progression with Improved Quality of Life Deterioration-Free Survival        

It was reported in March 2024 that the METIS trial met its primary endpoint of time to intracranial progression for patients with brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer (21.9 months in TTFields group vs 11.3 months in control group). Additional data from the METIS trial was presented at the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting showing that patients treated with TTFields also had prolonged quality of life deterioration-free survival (not reached in TTFields group vs 7.7 months in control group). 



06/03/24 For Love & Life: No Ordinary Campaign        

This is a great documentary about patient advocacy for ALS, and there are many parallels for patients living with high grade brain tumors. While the ACT for ALS bill was signed into law in 2021, patients and families living with ALS, high grade brain tumors, and other rapidly progressing terminal illnesses are still fighting for the Promising Pathway Act. The PPA is mentioned towards the end of the documentary. If you have Amazon Prime, this film is worth watching. 



05/28/24 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series        

The final webinar in our May series is tomorrow! Wednesday, May 29 (7pm EST) IMVAX Phase 2b Trial, Dr. Brad Zacharia.



05/28/24 Introducing Promising Pathway 2.0        

The Promising Pathway Act 2.0 was officially introduced to Congress last week! If you haven't already, clink this link to contact your Congressional representatives in support of the bill! It takes 2 minutes.



05/28/24 Musella Foundation Awards 3 Research Grants        

We're proud to announce the following research grants:

1. $48,836 grant to Dr. Ekokobe Fonkem at Medical College of Wisconsin to fund the project: "Advancing Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma: Pre-Clinical Development of a Novel PI3K Inhibitor"

2. $35,000 grant to Dr. Monika Haack at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to fund the project: "Computer modeling for tumor treating fields"

3. $10,053 to Dr. Samuel Singer at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research to fund the project: "Assessment of sST2 Staining in Tumor Tissue from Glioblastoma, IDH-Mutant High Grade Glioma and High Grade Meningioma"



05/27/24 Ivy Brain Tumor Center announces Phase 0/2 clinical readout of niraparib indicating significant improvement in overall survival of newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients        

Niraparib is a PARP inhibitor approved for ovarian cancer. It disrupts cancer cells' ability to repair DNA damage. In the Phase 0 part of this study, presumed newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients were given the drug for 4 days prior to resection, and resected tumor tissue was then tested to measure drug accumulation. All Phase 0 patients (n=46) met the accumulation threshold. Of the 27 patients with MGMT-unmethylated tumors, 19 were enrolled in the Phase 2 part of the study, where they received niraparib during radiation followed by a maintenance phase of niraparib alone. Median overall survival was 20.3 months, which is significantly better than the historic median of only 12.3 months for unmethylated GBM. While this study was small, a larger Phase 3 study is being planned which will compare niraparib with temozolomide for newly diagnosed MGMT-unmethylated GBM (more here). 



05/27/24 Can Boosting Hydrogen Sulfide Bolster Standard-of-Care Glioblastoma Therapy to Extend Survival?        

Preclinical research has shown that endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can act as a tumor suppressor against glioblastoma. Directly giving patients H2S is risky, so researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are exploring whether the body's natural production of H2S can be increased by reducing thyroid hormone levels. In addition to continued preclinical work, Dr. Hine and Dr. Peereboom will run a small Phase 2 trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of using oral methimazole (drug approved to treat hyperthyroidism) in patients with progressive GBM. They'll also look at other potential ways to enhance H2S signaling in patients, aside from using thyroid hormone inhibitors. 



05/23/24 President Lech Walesa of Poland Announces Plan to Harness Wind and Solar Energy to Discover Cancer Treatments and Cures        

This is very exciting! This partnership to develop renewable energy facilities will direct 90% of profits towards cancer research and services, focusing specifically on glioblastoma and diffuse midline glioma. We are honored to be a part of this project, and we will invite organizations and researchers worldwide to collaborate in applying these funds towards the most promising research when the funds start flowing in!



05/23/24 IMVAX Announces Completion of Enrollment in Phase 2b Clinical Trial of IGV-001 and Successful Financing        

As noted above, we have a webinar on this trial on Wednesday. IMVAX expects to be able to share top-line results sometime in 2025, but we'll cover the latest status and updates during our webinar.



05/21/24 URGENT - Promising Pathway 2.0!        

The Promising Pathway Act 2.0 will be introduced into Congress this Thursday. Before it gets introduced, we need to contact all of our legislators and ask them to cosponsor it. Use our form for details and a quick way to send emails to your senators and representatives! Then ask all of your friends to do the same!

Please do this even if you've already contacted your representatives on behalf of the original bill. We're closer than ever before, and garnering additional cosponsors will help push this bill across the finish line!



05/21/24 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series        

'Empowering Brain Tumor Patients' webinar this Thursday, May 23, 2024 (6pm EST) with Dr. Isabelle Germano, Dr. Kevin Elmore, and Dr. Stanislav Lazarev. This webinar is hosted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in collaboration with the National Brain Tumor Society and the Musella Foundation. The webinar can be accessed by visiting https://bit.ly/3UuvmRK.

Video recordings for all of our Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinars are available here. Our final event for the series will be Wednesday, May 29, 2024 (7pm EST) IMVAX Phase 2b trial, Dr. Brad Zacharia.



05/20/24 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Today        

Our next webinar is today! Monday, May 20, 2024 (2pm EST) ReSPECT GBM Phase 2 Trial, Dr. Norman LaFrance & Dr. Marc Hendrick, Go to virtualtrials.org/webinar to participate!



05/16/24 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Tonight        

Our next webinar is tonight! Thursday, May 16, 2024 (7pm EST) University of Michigan high-grade glioma trial, Dr. Maria Castro & Dr. Pedro Lowenstein. Go to virtualtrials.org/webinar to participate!



05/13/24 Musella Foundation Celebrates 26th Anniversary!        

The Musella Foundation became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit on May 12, 1998. Read more about the organization, its history and accomplishments HERE!



05/12/24 Brain Tumor Awareness Month Webinar Series        

Go to virtualtrials.org/webinar a few minutes before each event to participate!

Tuesday May 14, 2024 (7pm EST) Duke Clinical Trials, Dr. Annick Desjardins

Thursday May 16, 2024 (7pm EST) Results from University of Michigan high-grade glioma trial, Dr. Maria Castro and Dr. Pedro Lowenstein

Monday May 20, 2024 (2pm EST) ReSPECT GBM Phase 2 trial, Dr. Andrew Brenner and Dr. Marc Hendrick

Thursday May 23, 2024 (6pm EST) Empowering Brain Tumor Patients, Dr. Isabelle Germano, Dr. Kevin Elmore, and Dr. Stanislav Lazarev (NOTE: This webinar is hosted by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and may be accessed by visiting https://bit.ly/3UuvmRK)


Wednesday May 29, 2024 (7pm EST) IMVAX Phase 2b trial, Dr. Brad Zacharia

 



05/12/24 TLR agonists polarize interferon responses in conjunction with dendritic cell vaccination in malignant glioma: a randomized phase II trial        

This is a very important publication. It shows that combining a personalized dendritic cell vaccine with an immune-boosting adjuvant can improve treatment efficacy. This Phase 2 study specifically looked at two different immune modulators - poly-ICLC and resiquimod - and found that poly-ICLC triggered a stronger immune response when given in combination with the vaccine. Although the trial was not designed to make survival comparisons, the authors reported noticeable differences between the study groups. For the IDH mutant/grade 3 cohort, all 4 patients who received the vaccine + poly-ICLC were still alive at the time of data cutoff (3 patients >10 years and 1 patient >9 years). For the grade 4 (GBM) patients, there was a trend towards improved progression-free and overall survival with the vaccine adjuvant compared to the vaccine alone, but the differences didn't reach statistical significance (likely due to small number of patients).   



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