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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12/14/20 Musella Foundation awards another brain tumor research grant!        

 This trial is worth considering for patients with newly diagnosed Glioblastoma - if they happen to live in the NY City area.    Enrollment must begin before radiation starts. 

12/10/20 Oblato Announces Discussion Outcome with FDA for Development of OKN-007 for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma        

 Interesting trial about to open for DIPG.  This drug, OKN-007 recently reported good results for recurrent Glioblastoma, with an average survival of about 20 months compared to historical average of about 8 months. The Musella Foundation gave one of the first grants to get this started, back in 2013! I wish them luck and I will let you know when the trial opens.

12/10/20 'The Surgeon's Cut' Review: Netflix docuseries is a moving look at pioneering doctors who overcame obstacles        

 Look at episode 2 which focuses on Dr Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. Interesting story of how he became a neurosurgeon and it shows an awake surgery for a brain tumor!

12/10/20 Kazia Therapeutics brain cancer drug selected for international study        

 They will be testing their drug, paxalisib, in combination with Onc-201 in patients with DIPG. Sounds very interesting!


 This trial for recurrent malignant glioma is now available in 3 major centers in Texas.  It is a new way to target radiation to the tumor. Early trial results reported promising extension of survival for recurrent glioblastoma.

12/10/20 TVAX Biomedical announces major advancements in potential Glioblastoma cure        

 Of course using the word cure is way too early but this sounds like an interesting treatment.

12/06/20 Why Study Sexual Health in Patients With Lung Cancer?        

 Although this article is about lung cancer patients, it applies even more to brain tumor patients.  The cancer takes so much from us already.  This article says over 70% of female lung cancer patients have sexual dysfunction.  I would bet the number for brain tumor patients is higher since we also deal with so many other issues.    The good news is much of it can be treated. The big impediment is awareness. Sex is not something we like to talk about and takes a back seat to issues involving the tumor.  However, it has a huge impact on quality of life.  If you are having problems, talk to your doctor or nurse about it. 

12/06/20 New Expanded Access Program for MAPK-Pathway Altered Cancers        

 I mentioned this before but it is very important so sending it again.  If your pathology report says you have any of these mutations, you are eligible for the program. They are: MAPK, KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, BRAF, MEK, and/or ERK

12/01/20 Concurrent Dexamethasone Limits the Clinical Benefit of Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Glioblastoma        

 This is in mice, but probably would work the same way in people.    Might be a perfect use for Avastin - which also reduces brain swelling. Perhaps it could eliminate or at least reduce the amount of Dexamethasone used while undergoing immunotherapy. Also points to the need for other treatments for brain swelling like Xerecept, which did well in clinical trials but then just disappeared. At that time, the reduction in Dexamethasone dosage was not seen as important enough to continue development of the drug. Now it is.

11/30/20 Al Musella's Thoughts on the SNO 2020 Conference!        

SNO is the Society Of Neuro-Oncology's Annual Scientific meeting.  Follow the link below to see my thoughts on the highlights and to discuss them!

11/30/20 OncoSynergy Opens Enrollment for Clinical Trial of New Cancer Antibody Therapy, OS2966, in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma        

 I posted this a few weeks ago but at that time they had some paperwork delays and couldn't enroll patients. Now they can! This is for anyone with a grade 3 or grade 4 malignant tumor that needs a surgery. If you need a surgery anyway, it is worth considering adding a treatment that could help stop the tumor from coming back quickly.  There is only 1 participating center right now, Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa Florida, but one of my favorite neurosurgeons, Michael Vogelbaum, MD, PhD will be doing the surgery.

11/26/20 2020 UCLA Brain Tumor Virtual Conference        

 From our good friends at UCLA. Should be very informative! Now that it is virtual, everyone should watch it.

11/23/20 New version of NCCN Guidelines for CNS Cancers        

 This is considered the standard of care for the treatment of brain tumors in the USA.  It doesn't include GammaTile since although approved and worthwhile are not available everywhere yet - hopefully they will be added to the next version!

    These guidelines say for Glioblastoma, that Clinical Trials should be considered first, then if not possible, they now include Optune and Temodar along with radiation and surgery as the recommended treatment.

11/23/20 Resection and Surgically Targeted Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Larger Recurrent or Newly Diagnosed Brain Metastasis: Results From a Prospective Trial        

(In a small study) The local control rate at 1 year for newly diagnosed metastatic tumors was 100% and for recurrent tumors it was 80%.  Patients still died from the primary cancer but this seems to be an effective way to hit those brain mets.

11/22/20 INOVIO Presents Clinical Results of its DNA Medicines INO-5401 + INO-9012 in Novel Combination with PD-1 Inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab) in the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme at Society for Neuro-Oncology 2020 Annual Meeting        

 This was one of the highlights of this week SNO conference.  The concept is elegant  read about it on the company's website. Impressive early results.

11/22/20 Brain tumor patients get to interview celebrities!        

 This was a lot of fun. Thanks to Novocure for setting it up!

11/22/20 CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing using targeted lipid nanoparticles for cancer therapy        

 This is preclinical work but fascinating new approach.  CRISPR is a gene editing tool which can be programmed to cut out any gene. This first attempt is proof of the principle that it can be directed to tumors inside a live animal.  The possibilities are endless, perhaps starting with other genes in the tumor like the MGMT gene which creates a repair enzyme which offers resistance to Temodar, or to genes in the entire body such as any of the oncogenes like the BRCA genes which increase chances of many types of cancer. 

11/22/20 DNAtrix Announces Positive Data from Phase 2 CAPTIVE (KEYNOTE-192) Study with DNX-2401 in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma Highlighted in an Oral Late-Breaking Presentation During Society for Neuro-oncology (SNO) Annual Meeting        

 This is another one of the highlights from the SNO conference this week.  Exciting results in recurrent Glioblastoma. Median overall survival of 12.5 months compared to historic controls of 7.2 months.  Another elegant solution - see their website for details!   When we get some of these treatments approved and can start combining them, we will see major breakthroughs!


 I went to the presentation on this and it was impressive. RNL is a nanoliposomal formulation that  delivered directly to where it is needed in the brain via convection enhanced delivery.  It releases radiation in a much higher dose to the tumor bed than external beam radiation does, and a smaller dose to the surrounding tissue.  It is still very early of course but the concept is elegant and early data looks good.  They reported that patients who previously used Avastin did not do as well as those who never used Avastin, but in the presentation it was explained that the convection enhanced delivery of the patients who used Avastin was difficult and only reached about 1/2 of the tumor coverage that those who never had Avastin achieved. Perhaps this is a technical problem that can be solved so it helps both groups.

11/19/20 NX Development Corp. (NXDC) Launches Gleolan (aminolevulinic acid HCl) Meningioma Phase III Clinical Trial (NXDC-MEN-301)        

 This should allow for the more complete removal of these tumors!

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