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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04/22/24 ROSALIE Trial of EO2401/Nivolumab/Bevacizumab in Recurrent Glioblastoma Concludes        

Interim results from this trial were shared at the SNO 2023 annual meeting (see here). We look forward to seeing final results when they get published!

04/15/24 Upcoming Musella Foundation May Webinars!        

We are hosting several important webinars in May for Brain Tumor Awareness Month! Please mark your calendars for the following:

Wednesday, May 1 (7pm EST)  GBM AGILE trial, Dr. Timothy Cloughesy
Tuesday, May 14 (7pm EST)  Duke Clinical Trials, Dr. Annick Desjardins
Monday, May 20 (2pm EST)  ReSPECT GBM Phase 2 trial, Dr. Andrew Brenner and Dr. Marc Hedrick
Wednesday, May 29 (7pm EST)  IMVAX Phase 2b trial, Dr. Brad Zacharia

More to come!

04/15/24 UCLA Brain Tumor Center to Host 24th Annual UCLA Brain Tumor Conference        

UCLA Brain Tumor Center is hosting the 24th Annual UCLA Brain Tumor Conference on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, 2024. Join patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals at this free conference to hear leading healthcare professionals and advocates speak about the latest on brain tumors, treatments, symptom management and community resources. Friday sessions are virtual and Saturday sessions are in person! 

04/15/24 'The Brain Surgeon's Take' podcast episode with Dr. Al Musella on the Promising Pathway Act        

Dr. Ricardo Komotar has performed over 7,000 brain tumor surgeries. He serves as Director of the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative, Director of the UM Neurosurgery Residency Program, and Director of the UM Surgical Neurooncology Fellowship Program. In addition to all that, he runs a podcast! On a recent episode, he talked with Al about the Promising Pathway Act and how it will speed up the search for a cure for brain cancer. 

04/15/24 AACR Annual Meeting Highlight: AZD1390 + Radiotherapy for Glioblastoma        

AZD1390 is an investigational ATM inhibitor aimed at increasing the efficacy of radiation. As of Feb 2024, 75 recurrent GBM patients and 36 newly diagnosed GBM patients with unmethylated MGMT had received AZD1390 in the multicenter Phase 1 trial. The treatment was generally well tolerated, with the majority of adverse events being low-grade. For rGBM patients who received doses sufficient for target engagement (as determined by a Phase 0 study), mOS was 12.7 months. Survival data for the ndGBM cohort is still maturing. 

The Ivy Brain Tumor Center also presented data at AACR from their Phase 0/1 study on AZD1390, with results showing the drug was well tolerated, achieved high concentrations in tumor tissue, and successfully modulated its biomarker target. 

04/11/24 Evaluation of the EMulate Therapeutics Voyager's ultra-low radiofrequency energy in murine model of glioblastoma        

This new investigational device uses ultra-low radiofrequency energy to deliver oscillating magnetic fields. It significantly reduced tumor size in mice injected with U87 MG or GL261 glioma cells in their flanks. While still very early in the development process, we hope to see more preclinical research on this device.

04/08/24 Real-world cost-effectiveness analysis: Tumor Treating Fields for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in China        

Some countries have been slow to adopt tumor treating fields for GBM due to cost. This analysis affirmed that incorporating TTFields alongside standard TMZ treatment was cost-effective from the health system perspective in China.  

04/05/24 Sex differences in adverse events in Medicare individuals >= 66 years of age post glioblastoma treatment        

Interesting article. It was surprising to see that only a small percentage of Medicare patients use temodar.

04/03/24 Tumor Takedown Fundraiser: Cape Coral, FL May 4, 2024        

This is a fun party event down in Cape Coral Florida on May 4, 2024 starting at 4pm.  Proceeds go to us (The Musella Foundation) for brain tumor research!
There is a band, food trucks, raffles, and an auction!

04/01/24 Candel Therapeutics Announces Oral Presentation During the 5th Glioblastoma Drug Development Summit with Update on Phase 1b Clinical Trial of CAN-3110 in Recurrent High-Grade Glioma        

We featured this investigational oncolytic viral treatment in our SNO 2023 abstract highlights. Over 50 patients have now been treated with a single dose of CAN-3110 in the Phase 1b trial, and investigators have reported a near doubling of survival for recurrent high grade glioma (~12 months versus historical reports of 6 to 9 months). The next arm of this study will investigate use of up to six intra-tumoral  injections of CAN-3110 over a four month period. We'll be watching this trial closely!

04/01/24 Prediction of Outcomes with a Computational Biology Model in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Patients Treated with Radiation Therapy and Temozolomide        

This model incorporated mutational and copy number aberration data to simulate personalized GBM tumor response and generate efficacy predictions for radiation and TMZ. The model worked well to predict radiation therapy response but was not as robust for TMZ. Interestingly, among the model's predictions of the 3 best combo therapies for each patient (n=98), only 2.4% (7 of 294) of 2-drug combo recommendations included TMZ. This study further emphasizes the need for personalized precision treatment in GBM.

03/30/24 Low-Grade Glioma Webinar TOMORROW        

This is a FREE webinar hosted by the AANS/CNS section on tumors in collaboration with EANO, EANS, and SNO. It starts at 4pm EST tomorrow (April 2) and will cover medical treatment, radiation options, and neurosurgical approaches for low-grade gliomas. 

03/29/24 Advocacy Alert for Washington Residents! Comment publicly to support Washington State HCA coverage of Tumor Treating Fields        

Washinton State's HCA has denied coverage for Tumor Treating Fields, preventing access to this treatment option for Washington Medicaid patients and state employees. Our friends at the End Brain Cancer Initiative are working on a campaign to request that the HCA revisit and reverse this decision. To everyone in Washington State, please send the advocacy letter available on EBCI's website.

We'll be working on a similar project soon for the state of NY and will ask for your help when it's ready! 

03/29/24 Prolonged use of certain hormone drugs linked to increased brain tumor risk        

Researchers used data from the French national data health data system for 18,061 women who underwent intracranial meningioma surgery from 2009-2018, and compared them to matched controls. After controlling for confounding factors, they found increased risk of meningioma associated with prolonged use (a year or more) of the following hormone drugs: 2.7 fold increased risk with promegestone; 4.1-fold increased risk with medrogestone, and; 5.6-fold increased risk with medroxyprogesterone acetate. We can't draw definitive conclusions from an observational study, but this is still important information for women weighing oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy options.

03/28/24 METIS Phase 3 Clinical Trial Met Primary Endpoint, Demonstrating a Statistically Significant Extension in Time to Intracranial Progression for Patients with Brain Metastases from Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer        

Patients in the TTFields group had median time to intracranial progression of 21.9 months versus 11.3 months for the control group. While this result is positive, preliminary analyses of secondary endpoints (time to neurocognitive failure, overall survival, and radiologic response rate) did not demonstrate statistical significance. Analysis of additional secondary endpoints (quality of life and time to distant progression) are ongoing and will be shared in a future publication.

03/28/24 First Participant Receives Sonodynamic Therapy for Glioblastoma in New Clinical Trial        

This new Phase 1 sonodynamic therapy trial for recurrent GBM is sponsored by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and will leverage the NaviFUS neuronavigation-guided focused ultrasound system together with 5-ALA. The trial is being conducted at University of Virginia Health System and plans to enroll up to 11 patients. 

03/25/24 Switch to generic formulation of temozolomide results in statistically significant increase in grade 3 and 4 bone marrow toxicity in glioma patients in the province of Alberta        

This multicenter, retrospective study in Alberta, Canada showed a significant increase in Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia events with generic TMZ as compared to the brand name TMZ. The results of this study prompted Alberta neuro-oncologists to stop prescribing the generic and revert back to name brand. If you are a brain tumor patient experiencing bone marrow toxicity with generic TMZ, ask your NO about switching to the name brand (Merck).

03/25/24 Bill would allow treatment for terminally ill before FDA approval        

More news coverage for the Promising Pathway Act. The bill currently has 19 cosponsors and strong bipartisan support in the Senate. Once it passes the Senate, we'll need help rallying support in the House of Representatives. Please continue to call and email your House Representatives!

03/25/24 Oncovir Inc. is Pushing the Boundaries of Medical Innovation with Hiltonol        

Hiltonol (aka Poly-ICLC) is an immunomodulator being developed for solid tumors and other infectious diseases. By mimicking a virus, it stimulates a broad immune response, and it may have potential to boost efficacy of anticancer dendritic cell and peptide vaccines. We're keeping a close watch on several active glioma trials testing Hiltonol as a vaccine adjuvant! 

03/18/24 The detrimental effect of biopsy preceding resection in surgically accessible glioblastoma: results from the national cancer database        

This paper looks at the difference in outcome between doing a biopsy first, then followed by a resection of the tumor against just removing the tumor without doing the biopsy as a separate procedure first. There was a pretty big advantage to skipping the separate biopsy step.

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