What's New in Brain Tumour Research
Advances in Brain Tumour Research are happening around the world, all the time. Here you will find links to the latest research findings about brain tumours, treatment and quality of life.
2013 Research News
December 2013: Progress made on treating rare childhood brain tumour
A rare and deadly brain tumour that affects babies and children under the age of 4 may be closer to being treatable thanks to a team of Canadian researchers led by a hematologist-oncologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Read more in the Montreal Gazette.
December 2013: Examing the social side effects of brain cancer
Researchers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital are working to help children who survive brain cancer with their social skills as they recover and transition back into their peer groups. Experts say children who survive brain cancer often experience impaired social skills as a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. Check out the CTV story...
December 2013: U of C brain cancer discovery could shrink tumours
Researchers at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute have made a discovery that could lead to better treatment for patients suffering from brain cancer. Read more at the CBC.
December 2013: Cancer-Promoting Protein Is Vital to Safe Division of Tumor Cells
Researchers have caught a protein they previously implicated in a variety of cancer-promoting roles performing a vital function in cell division, survival and development of brain tumors. Read more at Science Daily.
November 2013: Update: 50 Percent of Patients in New Brain Cancer Study Alive After Five Years
Eight of 16 patients participating in a study of an experimental immune system therapy directed against the most aggressive malignant brain tumors -- glioblastoma multiforme -- survived longer than five years after diagnosis, according to Cedars-Sinai researchers, who presented findings Nov. 23 at the Fourth Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology. Read more at Science Daily.
November 2013: New drug proves effective at brain cancer treatment
New drug could have the capability to treat brain tumours by stop them from growing, while not affecting healthy tissue. New research, published in the medical journal 'PLOS ONE', suggests that a drug, which is currently already in the process of clinical development, could be an effective treatment for brain cancer that does not affect healthy cells. Read more at Labmate Online.
October 2013: Study finds 50 genes linked to a type of childhood brain tumour
A QUEENSLAND-led study has identified a network of 50 genes which are driving the growth of a deadly type of childhood brain tumour in a medical breakthrough that paves the way for new treatments. Read more in the Herald Sun news.
October 2013: Study opens doors to novel treatments for aggressive brain cancer
A study of how cancer cells get energy and raw materials for growth from glucose opens doors to new therapies. Ludwig researchers have elucidated a key mechanism by which cancer cells change how they metabolize glucose to generate the energy and raw materials required to sustain runaway growth. Read more on MedicalNews.net
October 2013: Drug Preserves Cognitive Function After Whole Brain Radiotherapy for Brain Cancer
Whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) proves to be a positive therapeutic and survival tool in the treatment of brain tumors in adults, but the effect of WBRT on long-term brain function and performance is a major concern. Because of this, researchers at Emory's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Winship Cancer Institute conducted a study that highlighted positive outcomes in long-term cognitive function due to the use of the cognitive drug Memantine. Read more...
September 2013: Promising therapeutic target for meningioma brain tumors
A specific protein has been found in nearly 100% of high-grade meningiomas, which is the most common form of brain tumor. This finding suggests a new target for therapies for a cancer that does not respond to current chemotherapy. Read more on OncologyNurseAdvisor.com
September 2013: Nanodiamonds deliver brain cancer drugs safely, UCLA team shows
Using a similar method they once used to treat breast cancer, researchers at UCLA are employing nanodiamonds to deliver cancer drugs to the brain, providing treatment for the particularly aggressive glioblastoma. Read more at FierceDrugDelivery.com
August 2013: Genes that drive brain cancer revealed
About 15% of patients with glioblastoma could receive personalized treatment with drugs currently used in other cancers, based on new research that has identified 18 genes responsible for driving glioblastoma multiforme. Read more at OncologyNurseAdvisor.com
June 2013: Abnormal metabolic pathway drives cancer-cell growth in glioblastoma subtype
A study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James) has identified an abnormal metabolic pathway that drives cancer-cell growth in a particular glioblastoma subtype. The finding might lead to new therapies for a subset of patients with glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. Read more at MedicalNews.net.
May 2013: Research Aims to Develop Vaccine to Target Brain Cancer
Vaccine would train immune system to search and destroy cancer cells. His Guelph undergrad degree first gave Zafir Syed a close-up look at the human brain. Now as a master’s student on his hometown campus, he hopes to help develop novel ways to treat brain cancer. Read more at the University of Guelph.
May 2013: Modified Polio Virus May Help Fight Brain Tumors, Study Suggests
A modified version of the polio virus might one day help fight brain tumors, preliminary research suggests. Scientists at Duke Cancer Institute said the investigational therapy, known as PVSRIPO, uses an engineered form of the virus that is harmless to normal cells, but attacks cancer cells. The therapy shows promise in the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive brain tumor, they said. Read more at the National Institute of Health
May 2013: Scientists find mutation driving pediatric brain tumors
A type of low-grade but sometimes lethal brain tumor in children has been found, in many cases, to contain an unusual mutation that may help to classify, diagnose and guide the treatment of the tumors, report scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Read more at HealthCanal.com
April 2013: University of Windsor cancer researcher gets funding boost
New research into how brain cancer tumors develop has attracted $185,919 in funding to University of Windsor researcher Lisa Porter. Read more at the WindsorStar.com.
April 2013: Personalized Brain Mapping Technique Preserves Function Following Brain Tumor Surgery
Neurosurgeons can visualize important pathways in the brain using an imaging technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to better adapt brain tumor surgeries and preserve language, visual and motor function while removing cancerous tissue. Read more at ScienceDaily.com.
March 2013: Ottawa scientist receives Innovation Grant to study brain tumours in children
Dr. Valerie Wallace, a senior scientist at the The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, will study — for the first time — a gene involved in the development of medulloblastoma, the most common form of childhood brain cancer, read more in the Ottawa Citizen
March 2013: Brain tumour cells killed by anti-nausea drug
New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that the growth of brain tumours can be halted by a drug currently being used to help patients recover from the side effects of chemotherapy. The discovery has been made during a study looking at the relationship between brain tumours and a peptide associated with inflammation in the brain, called "substance P", Read more at HealthCanal.com.
February 2013: EphA3 Maintains Tumorigenicity and Is a Therapeutic Target in Glioblastoma Multiforme
Queensland researchers believe a protein found in up to half of all aggressive brain cancers could explain why recurrence rates are so high. Around 1000 Australians die every year from glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumours, the most common form of brain cancer in adults. Read more in the Brisbane Times
or in the journal article in Cancer Cell
January 2013: Experts Urge Rapid Evaluation for Swallowing And Voice Problems After Brain Tumour Surgery
Recently, experts from The John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland (USA) released a recommendation urging immediate evaluation of swallowing and voice issues post-brain surgery for patients with non-malignant tumours removed from the base of the brain. These early assessments, ideally performed within 24 hours of surgery, would identify problems with chewing and swallowing food or speaking normally. The researchers say this type of evaluation could minimize complications associated with vestibular schwannomas. Damage can be caused when these tumours press on cranial nerves (key to controlling the tongue, lips, mouth and throat) or from the operation itself. Read more at the Johns Hopkins website...
January 2013: Genomic Sequencing Reveals Mutant 'Drivers' of Common Brain Tumour
Large-scale genomic sequencing has identified two DNA mutations that appear to drive about 15 percent of brain tumours known as meningiomas, a finding that could lead to the first effective drug treatments for the tumours, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute. Read more at Scicasts.com...
January 2013: Understanding brain tumor growth opens door for non-surgical treatment
One in 25,000 people worldwide is affected by neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), a condition where the loss of a tumour suppressor called Merlin results in multiple tumours in the brain and nervous system. Read more at Eurekalert.org...
January 2013: UWindsor prof receives grant to fight brain cancer in children
A University of Windsor professor is hoping her research can help save the lives of children with brain cancer. Dr. Elizabeth Fidalgo da Silva, an adjunct professor in Biological Sciences, is examining the role that a protein called tuberin plays in suppressing a form of brain cancer called medulloblastoma. Read more...
2012 Research News
December 2012: New Targets for Drugs to Defeat Aggressive Brain Tumor
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) researchers have identified over 125 genetic components in a chemotherapy-resistant, brain tumor-derived cell line, which could offer new hope for drug treatment to destroy the cancer cells. Read more...
December 2012: Sutured Seeds and Seed Sutured Mesh Deliver Impressive Early Results for Both Metastatic Brain Cancer and Meningioma Tumors
IsoRay Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a medical technology company and innovator in seed brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications, today announced the presentation of clinical findings at two medical centers of the successful treatment of brain cancers and tumors using IsoRay's patented Cesium-131 (Cs-131) sutured seeds and seed sutured mesh for internal radiation therapy. Read the Media Release...
December 2012: Drag-and-Drop Drugs Target Brain Cancer
A drug has been developed to combat a lethal brain cancer using a drag-and-drop DNA-self assembly technique. Read the story at Wired.co.uk
December 2012: Research Shows Immune System Response Is Detrimental to Novel Brain Cancer Therapy
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that the response of natural killer (NK) cells is detrimental to glioblastoma virotherapy, a novel way of treating malignant brain cancer by injecting a virus into the tumor. A number of clinical trials are currently underway to test whether glioblastoma virotherapy will facilitate antitumor efficacy... Read the story at Science Daily.
October 2012: Aggressive brain tumors can originate from a range of nervous system cells
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors can originate not only from the glial cells that make up the supportive tissue of the brain and from neural stem cells, but also from other types of differentiated cells in the nervous system, including cortical neurons. These research findings offer an explanation for the recurrence of GBM after treatment and suggest potential new targets to treat these deadly brain tumours. Read the Oncology Nurse Advisor story...
October 2012: Aggressive, Primary Brain Tumour Origination
Scientists have long believed that glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive type of primary brain tumor, begins in glial cells that make up supportive tissue in the brain or in neural stem cells. In a paper published October 17 in Science, however, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that the tumors can originate from other types of differentiated cells in the nervous system, including cortical neurons. Read the Outcome Magazine story...
October 2012: Because Kids Get Cancer Too
The legacy of a two-year-old boy and a heartfelt donation from his family is having an international impact on research into a rare brain tumour.Alexander Brown died two years ago from cancer but before he passed his parents made the decision to donate his brain so scientists could harvest live cells for their research. Read the CTV News story ...
August 2012: SickKids Researchers Uncover Molecular Markers for Rare Form of Brain Tumour
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is now home to a first-of-its-kind data bank of a rare type of childhood brain tumour, called CNS primitive neuro-ectodermal (PNETs), a very aggressive brain tumour for which the molecular features and best treatment approaches are unknown. The study, published in the August 13 issue of The Lancet Oncology, assessed a large cohort of these rare tumours and for the first time, identified molecular markers to differentiate them. Researchers found three molecular subgroups of CNS PNETs that are promising diagnostic and prognostic molecular markers that may allow for more specific treatment of the disease. Read more ...
August, 2012: Study: Allergies Associated with Decreased Risk of Brain Tumours
There's strong evidence to suggest an aversion to dust, pollen, mold, and pets may protect from brain cancer.
Read the story from the Atlantic ...
July 2012: Study Links BPA to Brain Tumours
Diabetes, reproductive disorders, obesity, and cancer are some of the serious medical conditions that bisphenol A (BPA) has been linked to in the past. Now a new study adds one more ailment to the list - brain tumors. A new Chinese study is the first to find a link between human exposure to BPA and brain tumors. The type of tumor is called meningioma. Read more ...
June 2012: Canadian 'Dream Team' to Tackle Brain Cancer
They are a ‘dream team’ comprised of some of the country’s top minds in cancer research. They will harness their talent and technologies to find new treatments for the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults with an $8.2-million investment ... Read the story here.
June 2012: Kids CT Scans Raise Small Cancer Risk
Receiving CT scan radiation to the head for diagnostic purposes during childhood triples the small risk of developing brain cancer and leukemia later in life, say doctors who recommend keeping doses as low as possible. Read the CBC story.
May 2012: Melanoma Drug Shows Promise in Early Trial
An experimental cancer drug developed may add vital months to the lives of melanoma patients whose disease has spread to their brains, according to data from an early-stage trial. Read the Reuters story
May 2012: Brain research in Canada gets $100 million boost from Ottawa
Federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq announced in Toronto Thursday plans to create the Canadian Brain Research Fund. It will support neuroscience research looking into commonalities of a wide range of disorders, including depression, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, brain tumours, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, schizophrenia, addictions, post-traumatic stress, Parkinson and epilepsy. Read the Toronto Star story
March 2012: The New War on Cancer
Emerging treatments and technology provide hope for thousands of patients. Read this story in the LA Times
February 2012: Researchers make living model of brain tumor
Brown University scientists have created the first three-dimensional living tissue model, complete with surrounding blood vessels, to analyze the effectiveness of therapeutics to combat brain tumors. The 3-D model gives medical researchers more and better information than Petri dish tissue cultures. Read the story in Science Codex
February 2012: Study sheds light on why therapy for devastating brain cancer in kids often fails
When a devastating form of brain cancer in kids spreads — and it too often does — treatments are life-changing and often ineffective. A new study is shedding light on why. The work, led by a scientist at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, has found that in medulloblastoma... Read the Global story
January 2012: Mutations Tied To Aggressive Childhood Brain Tumours Revealed By Cancer Sequencing Initiative
Researchers studying a rare, lethal childhood tumour of the brainstem discovered that nearly 80 percent of the tumours have mutations in genes not previously tied to cancer. Early evidence suggests the alterations play a unique role in other aggressive pediatric brain tumours as well. Read more here.
January 2012: Patient Care Could Be Revolutionized By Diagnostic Brain Tumour Test
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed what they believe to be the first clinical application of a new imaging technique to diagnose brain tumuors. The unique test could preclude the need for surgery in patients whose tumours are located in areas of the brain too dangerous to biopsy. Read more here
January 2012: Recurrent Mutations in H3F3A in Some Pediatric Brain Tumour Cases
Two new studies identify the same recurrent mutations in H3F3A in pediatric cases of glioblastoma multiforme and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. These are the first reports of human disease associated with mutations in histones, which play an extraordinarily important and conserved role in chromatin structure and gene regulation. Read more on Nature.com
January 2012: Team finds new way to image brain tumors, predict recurrence
team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has developed methods to reveal a molecular marker in tissue samples from brain tumors that has been linked to better survival odds. Monitoring this marker in the brain could provide doctors with a better way to follow their patients after surgery. Read more ...
January 2012: Brain Tumours Sensitized To Chemotherapy By Selectively Stopping Glutathione
Brain cancer cells are particularly resistant to chemotherapy - toxins enter the cells, but before the toxins can kill, cancer cells quickly pump them back outside. In fact, brain cancer cells are even better than healthy cells at cleaning themselves. Read more ...
January 2012: Therapy can add years to certain brain tumor patients' lives
The growing science of personalized medicine has good news for a select group of brain tumor patients: Combination therapy can double their survival, to nearly 15 years. Read the story in USA Today...
January 2012: Using Weather Forcasting to Predict Brain Tumour Growth
Arizona State University researchers believe their research in improving weather forecasting could be applied to brain cancer. Their proof-of-concept study, published by Biology Direct, shows they might be correct. Read more...
January 2012: Genome Sequencing of Pediatric Medulloblastoma Links Catastrophic DNA Rearrangements with TP53 Mutations
German scientists have discovered the first whole genome sequence of a medulloblastoma, apaediatric tumour. Read the article is the journal Cell
and the article in Medical News
January 2012: Agent Shows Ability to Suppress Brain Metastases and Related Damage
Scientists are one step closer to figuring out and repairing the damage caused by brain metastases. This area has been a challenging one for neuro-oncologists and researchers, and understanding the mechanisms and effects of brain metastases can help manage both patient care and treatment. Read more ...
2011 Research News
December 2011: Familial brain tumours
While inherited susceptibility might play a part in glioma the international Gliogene study (involving centres in the USA, UK, Sweden, Denmark and Israel), led by Dr Melissa Bondy, analysed the genetic makeup of 75 families where two or more members had glioma and identified a particular region on chromosome 17 called 17q12-21.3 as worthy of further study and sequencing. In the course of its study the group identified 1,000 families worldwide who are in the unfortunate category of having two or more members with glioma. Read more...
December 2011: Summary Report on the Graded Prognostic Assessment: An Accurate and Facile Diagnosis-Specific Tool to Estimate Survival for Patients with Brain Metastases
The Graded Prognostic Assessment (GPA) is a prognostic index for patients with brain metastases. A database of over 3900 people with newly diagnosed brain metastases underwent analyses of prognostic factors association with outcomes by primary site and treatment. Read more in the Journal of Clinical Oncology
December 2011: Improved Treatments for Brain Cancers Highlighted at Annual Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Meeting
1400 neuro-oncologist and other cancer health care professionals gathered recently at the annual Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Meeting to learn about advances made in the past year. Many of the most promising approaches were in the areas of immunotherapy and vaccines. Read more...
November, 2011: Mechanism Discovered In Brain Cancer Responsible For Neuron Death
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine have discovered a mechanism by which glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common form of brain cancer, promotes the loss of function or death of neurons, a process known as neurodegeneration. Read more ...
October, 2011: Distinguishing Oligodendrogliomas From Other Cancers
in the Journal of Pathology looks at the unique clinical, pathological, and genetic features of Oligodendroglioma including recurrent losses of chromosomes 1p and 19q.
September, 2011: Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study
The debate continues with the publication and open access availability in the British Medical Journal of an update of the Danish cohort study which provides “little evidence for a causal association”. Read more ...
September, 2011: First medication for children with brain tumours approved in Canada
Health Canada recently gave conditional approval of a new therapeutic use for the drug Afinitor* (everolimus). It is the first drug therapy approved in Canada for the treatment of brain tumours caused by TSC in patients three years of age and older. Read the media release here
August, 2011: Researchers Identify Possible Meningioma Gene
Swedish researchers have identified a gene variant, related to the MLLT10 on chromosome 10 associated with hematologic (blood) tumours, that may increase the likelihood that a person will develop a meningioma brain tumour. Read more...
August, 2011: GBM and Two Cancers Share Genetic Link
In a recent study, 20% of brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), skin cancer (malignant melanoma), and bone cancer (Ewings sarcoma) samples were found to have no STAG2 protein, often due to a missing or mutated STAG2 gene. Read more ...
August, 2011: Mutations on Choromosomes 1 and 19 Key to Oligodendroglioma
Researchers have discovered the primary genetic mutations that lead to oligodendrogliomas, the second-most-common brain tumour type in adults. In a recent study, scientists were able to sequence the exomes, or protein-coding portions of DNA, in seven oligodendroglioma tumours, and found that two genes, CIC and FUBP1, were frequently mutated. Further research on 27 additional oligodendroglioma samples confirmed the findings. The discovery adds to the scientific understanding of the genes involved in the growth of this tumour. Read more...
August, 2011: Brain Tumour Research Reaches Next Set of Milestones
The Dr. Peter Dirks laboratory is now testing a number of drugs that showed effectiveness on blocking human brain tumour stem cell growth in culture for their ability to block human tumour growth in animal models, which is the key stepping stone to move a drug to trials for human patients. Read the media release about this research here
July, 2011: Hyperbaric Oxygen Tested For Aggressive Brain Cancer
In a unique study, researchers at The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. are examining whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy breathing pure oxygen while in a pressurized chamber may prove a useful addition to the current standard of care for patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Read more ...
July, 2011: Two clinical Trials at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation has announced it is funding two new clinical trials at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. The studies will evaluate the feasibility and safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound as a treatment for essential tremor and malignant brain tumors. Read about the studies and how to become involved here
July, 2011: Just Add Water And ... Treat Brain Cancer
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a technique that delivers gene therapy into human brain cancer cells using nanoparticles that can be freeze-dried and stored for up to three months prior to use. Read more here
July, 2011: Understanding Glioblastoma at the Genetic, Molecular Level
Glioblastoma is the most common and most lethal form of brain tumor. Research published in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design offers a novel way to determine what biological functions go awry when the tumor first begins to form. Read the story in Medical News Today
July, 2011: Magnetic Nanoparticles Fry Tumors
Any parent fretting over a child's fever knows that temperatures just a few degrees above normal can kill. But cancer researchers have now found a way to make high temperatures heal. In a new study, a team found that injecting mice with tiny magnets and cranking up the heat eliminated tumors from the animals' bodies with no apparent side effects. Read more about this here
June, 2011: New imaging technique helps detect brain tumours earlier
Brain tumours are often very difficult for doctors to find. Current imaging techniques that find other types of cancer without difficulty still often can’t easily find brain tumours. That means many patients are diagnosed with brain cancer too late for successful treatment. A team of Ontario researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto hopes to change this. Read more here
March, 2011: Gene fusion mechanisms offer new clues to origin of paediatric brain tumours
A detailed analysis of gene fusions present at high frequency in the most common paediatric brain tumours has been performed for the first time in a study published recently, shedding new light on how these genomic rearrangements form in the early stages of cancer. Read the story in Science Centric
January, 2011: Brain Cancer: A Ray of Hope
A recent article by Dr. Richard Beliveau outlines the encouraging results or recent studies about a drug that may be effective against primary and secondary brain tumours. Read his article in the Toronto Sun
January, 2011: Some Brain Tumors Mimic The Genetic Program Of Germline Cells
Scientists at IRB Barcelona have discovered that some brain tumours in larvae of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster use the genetic programme of germline cells to grow. The removal of some of these genes leads to healthy brains. Read the story in Medical News Today
January, 2011: Researchers Pinpoint Origin Of Deadly Brain Tumor - Oligodendrogliomas
Scientists have identified the type of cell that is at the origin of brain tumors known as oligodendrogliomas, which are a type of glioma - a category that defines the most common type of malignant brain tumor. Read the story in Medical News Today
January, 2011: Gene Deletion Linked to Glioblastoma
New research found that up to one in four glioblastoma patients have a deleted gene which may contribute to tumor development, promote resistance to therapy, and considerably worsen a patient's outcome. The gene, known as NFKBIA, triggers biochemical processes similar to those resulting from a better-known aberration in epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, also commonly found in glioblastoma. That both defects produce the same outcome may help explain why efforts to treat the disease by targeting only one aberration have faltered. Learn more in the New England Journal of Medicine.