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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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01/15/23 Drug Against Most Common Pediatric Brain Cancer Achieves Trial Success        

 This is very impressive data in recurrent low grade glioma. It is hard to achieve a 50% reduction in a tumor with an oral drug and they did it in 64% of the patients, and 3 patients had a complete response.  This is the type of drug that needs to be approved quickly.



01/15/23 Targeting the IL4 Receptor with MDNA55 in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma: Results of a Phase 2b Trial        

 This is a positive study - the high dose group had a median overall survival of 15 months with 55% alive at the 1 year point, in recurrent glioblastoma which is at least double what I would expect from this group that is made up of non resectable recurrent IDH wildtype GBM.  Great work!



01/14/23 Feinstein Institutes, Northwell Use Ultrasound to Treat Brain Tumors in Novel Clinical Trial        

 This is one of my favorite experimental treatments.  It is too soon to tell how well it works, but the concept is fascinating.  We had a webinar about it recently. See https://virtualtrials.org/video2023.cfm?video=202301 for the webinar on this technology   Dr Schulder is a friend of mine, and he has been on the Musella Foundation's Medical advisory board for over 25 years and I consider him one of the best brain tumor surgeons around. I have sent a few family members for him to treat.  This treatment is worth considering for people with a recurrent high grade glioma  (Glioblastoma, Anaplastic Astrocytoma, Grade 3 or 4 astrocytoma or high grade Oligodendroglioma and more)



01/14/23 New drug combination may effectively treat often fatal childhood brain tumor        

 Brilliant work - combining two drugs that already are in clinical trials.  Still has to be tested but I love the concept.



01/06/23 Webinar on Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of brain tumors. Monday 1/9/23 at 7pm Eastern        

 Focused ultrasound is one of my favorite new experimental treatments for brain tumors. It can be used in many different ways. This webinar will focus (pun intended:) on using it for sonodynamic therapy, which is similar to photodynamic therapy but uses sound instead of light.  A dye is administered to the patient, which collects mostly in the tumor cells. Then focused ultrasound is delivered to the brain, using an external device (no cutting, no bleeding).  The ultrasound excites the dye molecules which kills the tumor cells and leaves the normal cells alone.    That is the theory - this trial is testing to see if it really works. If it works out, this will be a major breakthrough in the treatment of tumors.  This simple noninvasive procedure can be repeated when / if the tumor grows back to keep it at bay.   I would hope that combining a few relatively non-toxic therapies might lead to the cure - in a way that doesn't torture the patient!



01/06/23 Musella Foundation Brain Tumor Copay Program now open for new and renewal applications!        

 This program can help you with the copayments for Optune, Avastin, Gleostine or Temodar. Go to braintumorcopays.org for details!  If you have high copayments, qualify,  and could use the help, do not be embarrassed to ask for help.  That is why we are here - to help reduce some of your stress!  We know costs add up quickly and we are happy to try to help.



01/06/23 Lifespan researchers announce major breakthrough in brain cancer vaccine trial.        

 This is another view on the DCVAX trial that we have been talking about for the last few weeks.  They mention an 18 year GBM survivor!  They are recommending that patients who have surgery now freeze the tumor so when DCVAX gets FDA approval, the vaccine can be made.   Or - they mention you can get it in the UK now (but have to pay out of pocket).  



12/29/22 Cracking the mystery behind a deadly brain cancer        

 These researchers may have found a new approach to treating tumors.  They think targeting the protein (BRD8) that controls the P53 gene will lead to a  major breakthrough. They tested it in mice and it worked for the mice. Next step is more preclinical testing, then human testing. It is too early to get too excited, but I think the key to finding the cure is to first understand what goes wrong to make the tumor grow, and attack that instead of randomly trying to kill tumor cells.



12/19/22 Webinar on Focused Ultrasound for the treatment of brain tumors        

 Focused ultrasound is one of my favorite new experimental treatments for brain tumors. It can be used in many different ways. This webinar will focus (pun intended:) on using it for sonodynamic therapy, which is similar to photodynamic therapy but uses sound instead of light.  A dye is administered to the patient, which collects mostly in the tumor cells. Then focused ultrasound is delivered to the brain, using an external device (no cutting, no bleeding).  The ultrasound excites the dye molecules which kills the tumor cells and leaves the normal cells alone.    That is the theory - this trial is testing. If it works out, this will be a major breakthrough in the treatment of tumors.  This simple noninvasive procedure can be repeated when / if the tumor grows back to keep it at bay.   I would hope that combining a few relatively non-toxic therapies might lead to the cure - in a way that doesn't torture the patient!



12/16/22 Autonomous rhythmic activity in glioma networks drives brain tumour growth        

 I did not know this!  They are saying that the tumor cells talk to each other and are organized in a network.  This communication drives the growth of the tumor.  It opens the door for new ways to treat patients. I wonder if Optune could disrupt the network?



12/16/22 Phase IIa Study of SurVaxM Plus Adjuvant Temozolomide for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma        

 Very impressive results, with no major side effects.   We need the FDA to approve treatments like this even though there is a small number of patients and it was not a randomized trial.




12/08/22 Musella Foundation Brain Tumor Treatment Copayment Assistance program is now closed to new and renewal patients        

  We ran out of money so the program is closed to new and renewal applications. Of course we continue to pay claims for those already approved.   So far this year we awarded 283 grants of up to $5,000 each. The program works by donations - so we never know when we will gather enough funds to reopen this life saving (and stress reducing) program.



12/06/22 DcVax Webinar with guest speaker Dr Linda Liau posted on our website!        

 I am so sorry that so many people had trouble watching it live.  Our webinar room only holds 500 people, and we usually use Facebook for the overflow.  We hit the capacity of 500 in our zoom room, and we were streaming the video live on Facebook, until someone reported the video to Facebook as a violation of their terms of service and Facebook cut the feed and deleted the video.    



12/05/22 Our webinar with Dr Linda Liau on DcVax is tonight 12/5/22 at 8:30pm Eastern        

Tonight’s' webinar should be great!  Dr Liau published the results of the DcVax trial recently.  Read that article before watching the webinar.  There has been some misinformation spreading about the trial. Hopefully tonight's webinar will clarify everything and show that this trial was a complete success.  It is the story of the year and a breakthrough brain tumor treatment!



12/05/22 CLINICAL EFFICACY AND PREDICTIVE BIOMARKERS OF ONC201 IN H3K27M-MUTANT DIFFUSE MIDLINE GLIOMA        

 This is the results of 2 trials of the drug Onc-201 for DIPG and DMG.   Bottom line is this oral drug with minimal side effects doubles survival. This is in a tumor type that really has no effective treatments.  This should be made available now on an emergency basis. This is why we need the Promising Pathway Act. If this bill was passed, we would have had approval of Onc-201 years ago. The current system is outdated.



12/02/22 Musella Foundation Brain Tumor Copay Program now open for new and renewal applications!        

  The program will be open probably for a few days but we never know how many applications come in.  Might close sooner.   We have enough money (thanks to those who donated!)  for about 15 grants (of $5,000 each).  Do not be shy about applying - if this can releive some of your stress - it is worth applying!



12/01/22 Cohen Milstein Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Northwest Biotherapeutics Against Major Market Makers for Market Manipulation        

 People always ask me why Northwest Biotherapeutics' stock didn't skyrocket when they released fantastic news that their phase 3 clinical trial was a complete success.  It made people think there was something wrong,  and unless you read the full publication along with the supplemental materials which clearly answers all of the negative comments floating around about the trial, you might be tempted to believe some of the misleading articles that were published about the trial.     This article talks about the main reason why the stock is so low and has gone lower every time the company announced good news.  It is probably  (innocent until proven guilty) because of stock manipulation by a few greedy companies who care more about money than your lives.    This scam has delayed the approval of DCVAX by years - killing many people who might have been saved.   Hopefully this ends now, and we can get back to finding the cure!



12/01/22 Convection-enhanced delivery of Topotecan active in glioblastoma        

 This article talks about a new way to get drugs into the brain.  CED is convection enhanced delivery, and it has been used for a long time as a one shot deal.  Now this system can be used over time, in this case 4 treatments once a week for 4 weeks.  Topotecan is a drug that works great against brain tumors in the test tube, but doesn't cross the blood brain barrier so it doesn't work when given IV.  These researchers tried it with this new form of extended CED and early results look promising. All 5 patients had significant reduction in tumor size. That is great news because the FDA has said it would approve treatments quickly if they had a high response rate.  Topotecan is already approved, and this CED system is not a permanent implant - it is easily removed.  Once it is approved we can try all sorts of drug cocktails personalized to the biopsy.



11/29/22 Novocure's Optune® Approved in Canada for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Glioblastoma        

 It took way too long but Optune is now approved in Canada!



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