What's New in Brain Tumour Research

Brain tumour research is advancing around the world and this page highlights other recent breakthroughs.

2018 Research News

January 2018: Midatech Pharma Gets FDA Approval For MTX110 Cancer Treatment Study
Midatech Pharma PLC said on Tuesday that it has received permission from the US Food & Drug Administration to conduct a study of a treatment for childhood brain cancer DIPG, which stands for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. Read more...
January 2018: Targeting the body’s internal clock to treat glioblastoma
Researchers have discovered that the circadian rhythm, also known as a person's 'internal clock', could hold the answers to develop new therapies for glioblastoma. Read more...
January 2018: Giant MRI scanners could shrink to the size of laptops in a breakthrough that paves the way for surgeons to use them during operations
British researchers have made a breakthrough that means hospital scanners costing millions and weighing up to three tons could be shrunk down to the size of laptop computers. Read more...
January 2018: Common virus used to help fight incurable brain cancer
Ten patients so far in the UK have received the therapy, which is a virus that causes mild flu-like symptoms. The virus can cross the blood-brain barrier and appears to help "switch on" the body's defence systems to attack the tumour, early studies suggest. Read more...

2017 Research News

December 2017: MRI scans to predict patients’ ability to fight cancer 
Researchers in the UK have developed a non-invasive technique using standard hospital-based Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans that can indicate how long patients with cancer that has spread to the brain might survive and whether they are likely to respond to immunotherapy. Read more...
November 2017: Liquid biopsy spots aggressive pediatric brainstem cancer earlier without surgery
A particularly aggressive form of pediatric cancer can be spotted reliably by the genetic fragments it leaves behind in children's biofluids, opening the door to non-surgical biopsies and providing a way to gauge whether such tumors respond to treatment, according to an abstract presented by Children's National Health System researchers during the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) 2017 Annual Meeting. Read more...
November 2017: PAC-1-temozolomide combination shows promise for anaplastic astrocytoma
A drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct has been cleared for use in a clinical trial of patients with anaplastic astrocytoma. Read more...
November 2017: PhD student makes find that may help prevent spread of cancer
A PhD student in Ontario has made a groundbreaking discovery that may have the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Read more...
November 2017: University of Guelph professor identifies protein key to cancer cells ability to spread
U of G scientists have made a discovery that could reduce the spread of cancer by hindering a protein that binds cancer cells together and allows them to invade tissues. Read more...
November 2017: The 22nd annual meeting of the American Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO)
Despite the publication of a number of negative clinical trials over the previous 12 months, there was a definite sense of purpose at this year’s SNO meeting with a tangible determination to learn from the trial failures and use this information to help us to move forwards to develop better treatments and ultimately a cure. Read more from our colleagues at Brain Tumour Research in the United Kingdom.
November 2017: Liquid Biopsy Spots Aggressive Pediatric Brainstem Cancer Earlier
A particularly aggressive form of pediatric cancer can be spotted reliably by the genetic fragments it leaves behind in children’s biofluids, opening the door to non-surgical biopsies and providing a way to gauge whether such tumors respond to treatment, according to an abstract presented by Children’s National Health System researchers during the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) 2017 Annual Meeting. Read more...
November 2017: Sonic Hedgehog pathway identified as a target against medulloblastoma
Researchers raise hopes for developing a combination targeted therapy to treat medulloblastoma and other tumours… Scientists have discovered a promising target for precision medicines to block a mechanism that drives several cancers, including about 30 percent of cases of medulloblastoma. Read more...
October 2017: Transgene: First Patient Treated in a Phase 1/2a Trial (Oncovirac) of Novel Oncolytic Virus TG6002 in Recurrent Glioblastoma
Transgene, a biotech company that designs and develops viral-based immunotherapies, today announced that the first patient with recurrent glioblastoma has been treated at La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, Greater Paris University Hospitals, AP-HP (Paris), in the first-in-human clinical trial (Oncovirac trial) of TG6002, a novel oncolytic virus. Read more...
September 2017: FDA Approves Amgen And Allergan's MVASI™ (bevacizumab-awwb) For The Treatment Of Five Types Of Cancer
MVASI is approved for the treatment of five types of cancer, including in combination with chemotherapy for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in combination with chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), glioblastoma, metastatic renal cell carcinoma in combination with interferon alfa and in combination with chemotherapy for persistent, recurrent, or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix. Read more...
September 2017: Study Suggests Approach for Treating Brain Tumours
New research conducted in mice provides evidence that highly lethal brain tumours, called high-grade gliomas, stop growing when deprived of a specific molecule naturally produced when brain cells fire. Read more...
September 2017: SickKids docs develop game-changing test to determine perfect therapy for 3 cancers in kids
Julia Van Damme was only eight years old when they found it – a rare, inoperable brain tumour the size of a golf ball. How her tumour was diagnosed is considered state-of-the-art. The testing that shed light on her diagnosis also paved the way for a less invasive treatment, a medication taken twice daily. Read more...
September 2017: Zika virus has oncolytic activity against glioblastoma stem cells
Glioblastoma is a highly lethal brain cancer that frequently recurs in proximity to the original resection cavity. We explored the use of oncolytic virus therapy against glioblastoma with Zika virus (ZIKV), a flavivirus that induces cell death and differentiation of neural precursor cells in the developing fetus. ZIKV preferentially infected and killed glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) relative to differentiated tumor progeny or normal neuronal cells. Read more...
August 2017: Canadian researchers 'barcoding' brain cancer cells to improve treatment
A Canadian-led international research team is using a "barcoding" system to investigate the growth patterns of individual cells that make up the deadliest form of brain cancer, with the hopes of improving treatment. Read more...
August 2017: Potential new drug for kids' brain cancer
A breast cancer drug could be used to shrink the most common and deadly form of childhood brain tumour. Read more...
August 2017: New Genes Discovered Regulating Brain Metastases in Lung Cancer Patients
Research from McMaster University has identified new regulators of brain metastases in patients with lung cancer. These regulators are the genes called SPOCK1 and TWIST2. Read more...
August 2017: Brain tumor scientists map mutation that drives tumors in childhood cancer survivors
Neuroscientists have uncovered the genetic basis for why many long-term survivors of childhood cancer develop meningiomas, the most common adult brain tumour, decades after their treatment with cranial radiation. Read more...
August 2017: Blood test to detect brain metastases
Cancer researchers are now closer to creating a blood test that can identify breast cancer patients who are at increased risk for developing brain metastasis. Read more...
July 2017: Nanoparticle Delivery of Curcumin Induces Tumor Cell Death
Attaching curcumin, a component of the common spice turmeric, to nanoparticles can be used to target and destroy treatment-resistant neuroblastoma tumor cells, according to a new study published in Nanoscale. The study, conducted in partnership by researchers at Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida, demonstrates a potentially novel treatment for neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infants. Read more...
July 2017: Moleculin's New Drug for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Nears Clinical Trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Robert Shepard, Moleculin's Chief Medical Officer added: "We have never seen a drug like WP1066 that appears capable in vitro of both stimulating a natural immune response and directly killing tumor cells to block tumor progression. There continues to be a serious unmet need for the treatment of glioblastomas, the most aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer, which is why we are working so hard and are excited to get WP1066 into the clinic." Read more...
July 2017: Gene therapy for cancer nears FDA approval
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel has opened a new era in medicine by unanimously recommending that the agency approve the first treatment that genetically alters a patient's own cells to fight cancer. The cells will be transformed into what scientists call "a living drug" that powerfully bolsters the immune system to shut down the disease. Read more...
June 2017: Duke researchers develop treatment that triples survival time of brain cancer patients
Glioblastoma is among the most stubborn forms of brain cancer, with patients having a median survival time of just under 15 months. Because of a new treatment tested by Duke scientists, however, chances of survival may soon improve. Read more....
June 2017: This Is What Cancer Looks Like Attacking The Insides of a Mouse
Japanese researchers have developed a new imaging technique which makes mouse bodies and internal organs totally see-through. The innovative scanning method allowed the team to watch single cancer cells multiply, spread and form tumours inside the bodies of mice. Read more....
June 2017: Fibre-optic device can detect stray cancer cells and improve tumour removal: study A fibre-optic probe can detect errant cancer cells within healthy tissue during brain tumour surgery with close to 100 per cent accuracy and sensitivity, reducing the risk of recurrence and thereby increasing a patient's survival time, say the Canadian researchers who developed the device. Read more...
June 2017: DelMar Pharmaceuticals races up on Nasdaq on brain cancer clinical trial news. DelMar's VAL-083 STAR-3 GBM trial is a randomized, controlled clinical trial in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) whose disease has progressed following prior treatment with temozolomide and bevacizumab. Read more...
April 2017: Immune Cells Play Crucial Role in Brain Cancer Development
Brain tumors recruit immune cells derived from bone marrow to transform what began as benign masses into deadly malignancies, according to two studies from Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. The findings suggest that inhibiting this cell-recruitment process can suppress tumor growth, and may offer a way to predict which patients are at greatest risk for developing brain cancer. Read more...
April 2017: Moving toward multi-pronged treatment for the worst childhood brain tumor
New Stanford research published in Cancer Cell suggests two potential drug targets for a terrible pediatric brain tumor, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. The findings add to a growing body of work from around the world that illuminates how DIPG cells function and suggests many ways their proliferation could be stopped. Read more...
April 2017: First Focused Ultrasound Pediatric Brain Tumor Study Begins
Researchers at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida have performed the first procedure in a pediatric and young adult brain tumor study. The trial aims to demonstrate feasibility and safety of using focused ultrasound to ablate a variety of benign tumors located in the central part of the brain in ten patients, ages 8 to 22. Left untreated, these tumors often cause seizures, cognitive delays, or other complications as they grow. Read more...
April 2017: Diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas-current management and new biologic insights. Is there a glimmer of hope?
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) has proven to be one of the most challenging of all pediatric cancers. Owing to a historical reticence to obtain tumor tissue for study, and based on an erroneous assumption that the biology of DIPG would mirror that of supratentorial high-grade astrocytomas, innumerable studies have been undertaken-all of which have had a negligible impact on the natural history of this disease. More recently, improvements in neurosurgical techniques have allowed for the safe upfront biopsy of DIPG, which, together with a wider use of autopsy tissue, has led to an evolving understanding of the biology of this tumor. Read more of the PubMed abstract...
March 2017: Encouraging results for patients with aggressive brain cancer
Being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour is devastating news for patients and their loved ones. Whereas some types of tumour respond well to treatment, others such as glioblastomas – the most common and aggressive brain tumours – are known to recur and progress within short times from the diagnosis. Read more...
March 2017: Queen's research helps improve cancer survival rates
Research into brain cancer conducted by the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, based at Queen’s University, has led to improving the overall survival rate for elderly patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer.  Read more...
March 2017: Antibody treats pediatric brain tumors safely and effectively in mice
Five types of pediatric brain cancer were safely and effectively treated in mice by an antibody that causes immune cells to engulf and eat tumors without hurting healthy brain cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Read more...

2016 Research News

October 2016: Towards Better Targeted Treatment of Brain Cancer in Children
More than 4,000 children and teens are diagnosed with brain cancer each year and the disease kills more children than any other cancer. Read more...
October 2016: High response rate in phase I/II paediatric brain cancer trial
A high response rate with a single drug in a phase I/II trial of paediatric brain tumour has set the stage for combination therapy with higher response and lower toxicity, researchers reported at the ESMO 2016 Congress in Copenhagen. Read more...
September 2016: Scientists discover potential way of stopping most aggressive brain tumour
Researchers from the University of Southampton (UK) have discovered a potential way of stopping one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour from spreading, which could lead the way to better patient survival. Read more...
September 2016: Dr. Souweidane Treats Final Patient in Groundbreaking DIPG Clinical Trial
Dr. Mark Souweidane today treated the final patient in his Phase I clinical trial of convection-enhanced delivery (CED) for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The trial, which had enrolled 31 patients over the past four years, was designed to test the safety of CED as a means of delivering a cancer-fighting drug directly to the site of a DIPG tumor. Read more...
June 2016: Ultrasound Opens the Brain to Promising Drugs
The protective sheath surrounding the brain’s blood supply—known as the blood-brain barrier—is a safeguard against nasty germs and toxins. But it also prevents existing drugs that could potentially be used to treat brain cancer or Alzheimer’s disease from reaching the brain. That’s why scientists want to unchain the gates of this barrier. Now a new study shows it’s been done in cancer patients. Read more...
June 2016: No miracle cure for cancer suffered by Gord Downie, but research offers hope
...referring to a new “breakthrough” treatment (using polio vaccine) for glioblastoma, the deadly cancer the Tragically Hip frontman has, that had been profiled on the show 60 Minutes in 2015 and last month.  Read more...
April 2016: Research findings could lead to treatment for deadly brain cancer
A team of Ottawa researchers have discovered an important piece of the puzzle that could lead to better treatment for the deadliest form of brain cancer, glioblastoma. Read more...
February 2016: Virtual reality glasses used during brain surgery for the first time.
In a world first, a patient in France undergoing brain surgery while conscious wore virtual reality glasses as doctors removed a cancerous tumour, the chief surgeon told AFP Tuesday. Read more...
February 2016: Research 'dream team' to seek better brain tumour treatments, focus on stem cells
A "dream team" of top Canadian scientists has been named to mount a new attack on aggressive brain cancers in children and adults by focusing on the stem cells that spur their growth. Read more...

2015 Research News

December 2015: Brain Cancers Reveal Novel Genetic Disruption in DNA
Researchers found that a merging of genetic neighborhoods in brain cells caused them to become cancerous. Read more...
November 2015: Yale team tracks twists and turns on the road to malignancy
In a comprehensive genomic study of gliomas that progressed into GBMs, an international team led by Yale Cancer Center researchers discovered the mechanisms that cause this transformation, findings that have implications about how the disease is treated.  Read more...
November 2015: Sunnybrook doctor first to perform blood-brain barrier procedure using focused ultrasound waves
Here in the S-wing of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Mainprize and his research team accomplished on Thursday what no one in the world has ever done before: Using focused ultrasound waves, they have opened the human blood-brain barrier, paving the way for future treatment of an array of currently impossible or hard-to cure-illnesses – from brain cancer to certain forms of depression, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Read more...
October 2015: Winnipeg duo wins $100K innovation award for brain surgery laser
Two Winnipeggers have won a top Canadian innovation award for their creation — a medical laser that zaps otherwise inoperable brain tumours. Read more...
September 2015: Combination of Chemotherapy and T-Cell Immunotherapy May Provide Novel Treatment Strategy for Glioblastoma
A preclinical study has found that a combination of decitabine and T-cell immunotherapy demonstrated antitumor activity against glioblastomas in mouse models and was about 50% effective at curing the disease. Read more...
August 2015: UBC breakthrough could help restrict the spread of brain cancer
New research into how one type of brain cancer invades healthy cells and spreads could one day help patients survive the disease, according to University of British Columbia researchers. Read more...
August 2015: Northern B.C. fungus could contain cancer cure
When Faran Rashid was little, he was fascinated by all things science. "By like Grade 5, I'd read every single science book in library at school," said the 21-year-old University of Northern B.C. student. "That's all I did, was read." He's maintained that love of research through the years, and was recently selected for one of five studentships -scholarships supporting student research -across Canada worth $10,000. Read more...
August 2015: UNBC Student Studying Possible Brain Cancer Treatment
A UNBC undergrad has received $10,000 from the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Faran Rashid will isolate compounds from wild mushrooms, to see if they can kill brain cancer cells. Read more...
June 2015: Seeds of hope implanted in brain cancer patient
A metro hospital is one of the first in the nation to use a new approach to fighting cancer in the brain. Surgeons at the University of Kansas Hospital are implanting some tiny radioactive seeds. Read more...
June 2015: Study Suggests New Imaging Technique Could Make Brain Tumour Removal Safer, More Effective
Johns Hopkins researchers report they have developed an imaging technology that could provide surgeons with a colour-coded map of a patient’s brain showing which areas are and are not cancer. Read more...
June 2015: Scientists find way to disrupt brain tumour stem cells
A group of U.S. scientists say they have discovered a way to attack the root of some of the deadliest brain tumours, read more...
June 2015: New chemotherapy detecting method in the works at UWindsor
A new method to determine if chemotherapy is working has been patented by a team of physicists from the University of Windsor and Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital. Read more...
May 2015: Impact of glycemia on survival of glioblastoma patients treated with radiation and temozolomide
Evidence suggests hyperglycemia is associated with worse outcomes in glioblastoma (GB). This study aims to confirm the association between glycemia during radiotherapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) treatment and overall survival (OS) in patients with newly diagnosed GB.  Read more about this Clinical Study...
May 2015: Redefining infant brain tumours to improve treatment
For years there was little hope for children diagnosed with rhabdoid brain tumours. Now researchers from the University of Toronto have discovered how to categorize these tumours, allowing for more targeted treatment of this deadly disease. Read more in U of T News...
May 2015: New surgical tool improves outcomes for brain cancer patients
Leading engineers and brain cancer researchers in Montreal have teamed up to develop a unique cancer-detection tool that will improve the outcome of cancer patients undergoing brain cancer surgery. Read more in this article in the Globe and Mail...
May 2015: Funding for new brain research technology in Surrey
Two pieces of state-of-the-art medical equipment that are coming to Surrey Memorial Hospital are game-changers Read more of the story in the Vancouver Sun...
May 2015: A Nova Scotia physicist is mapping the brain
Tynan Stevens has found a way to pinpoint the do-not-disturb areas of the brain to allow surgeons to operate with greater confidence Read more...
April 2015: Oncolytic viruses: North American scientists test new therapy to fight cancer
Oncolytic virus therapy is a burgeoning new field of research and Canadian researchers are at the forefront. Read more...
April 2015: Long-term survival in glioblastoma - a project of the Brain Tumor Funders` Collaborative
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada partners with the Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative to extend the impact of research dollars. Read the latest update on the project here...
March 2015: Use Polio to Treat Brain Cancer?
60 Minutes follows cancer patients at Duke University in the first clinical trial, two of whom now show no signs of cancer. Watch the story on the 60 Minutes website...
March 2015: Local researcher involved in promising brain cancer study
London researchers are involved in a study showing a two-pronged treatment for a rare form of brain cancer has promise. Dr. Barbara Fisher is part of a Canadian-U.S. study looking into treatment for low-grade gliomas. Read more at CTV News...
March 2015: Will a tetanus shot one day treat brain cancer?
Can a tetanus shot help treat brain cancer? A small study hints that it might. A dose of tetanus vaccine let patients live longer when added to an experimental treatment for the most common and deadly kind of brain tumour, researchers report. Read more at CTV News...
February 2015: VGH doctor first in Canada to use robotic laser to target brain tumours
A neurosurgeon at Vancouver General Hospital has become the first surgeon in Canada to use new robotic laser heat technology to destroy brain tumours and other abnormal growths inside the skull. Read more in the story at the Vancouver Sun...
February 2015: Light-Based Technique Helps Surgeons Excise Brain Cancer
Neurosurgeons need all the help they can get to remove brain cancer tumors. If they leave cancer cells behind, the tumors can regrow. Finding cancer cells can be particularly difficult with infiltrative cancers such as glioma, which invades surrounding brain tissue. Read more...
February 2015: New Techniques Outline Tumors’ Location in the Brain
Brain tumors are notoriously tricky for surgeons, who may leave too much cancerous tissue behind or cut into vital, healthy brain tissue. However, two new studies describe devices that help surgeons and nonsurgical physicians better understand the outline and location of cancerous tissue in the brain, potentially improving outcomes for patients. Read more at the HealthCast.com...
February 2015: New therapies offer some hope for those facing glioblastoma brain tumors
Read this personal essay on the WashingtonPost.com...
January 2015: Scientists Discover the Role of Gene Mutations Involved in 75% of Glioblastomas and Melanomas
After initiating several biophysical computational studies, researchers have identified mutations that destabilize a DNA structure that turns a gene “off.” They found that these mutations occur at four specific sites in the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter in over 75% of glioblastomas and melanomas. Read more at the ASCO Post...
January 2015: Malignant Transformation of Low-Grade Gliomas in Children: Lessons Learned From Rare Medical Events
Gliomas, the largest group of pediatric CNS cancers, are histologically classified as low- and high-grade tumors. Low-grade gliomas (LGGs), which are often mislabeled as benign tumors, can cause significant morbidity and sometimes even death, particularly in the case of midline tumors that are not amenable to gross surgical resection. Read more at the Journal for Clincal Oncology...
January 2015: Understanding a complex brain cancer
SickKids-led study links genetics of cells with diverse growth and drug-resistant behaviours within the same tumour. Read more at HealthCanal.com...
January 2015: Revamped drug may overcome resistance in brain tumours
Cancer Research UK scientists have taken steps to overcome drug resistance in glioblastoma, the most common type of brain tumour in adults, according to research published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Read more at MedicalXpress.com...
January 2015: Assessing Bimanual Performance in Brain Tumor Resection With NeuroTouch, a Virtual Reality Simulator
Increasing tumor complexity impaired resident bimanual performance significantly more than neurosurgeons. Read more in the journal article at McGill.ca...
January 2015: Is there any role for stereotactic body radiotherapy in the management of metastatic epidural spinal cord compression?
The standard treatment of metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) in a symptomatic patient with good performance status, histology that is not exquisitely radiosensitive (lymphoma, small cell, myeloma and germinoma), and a single level of compression, is surgical decompression followed by external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Read more at FutureMedicine.com...


2014 Research News

December 2014: Scientists map out how childhood brain tumors relapse
The unique genetic paths that the childhood brain tumor medulloblastoma follows when the disease comes back has been mapped out, researchers report. Scientists looked at biopsies from the relapsed tumours of 29 patients. They found a range of changes that only appeared when the disease returned and were responsible for the cancer becoming more aggressive. Read more at Science Daily...
December 2014: Limit Imaging Scans for Headache? Neurosurgeons Raise Concerns
Headache is sometimes the only symptom of brain tumours, says report in Neurosurgery. Read more at NewsWise.com.
December 2014: New imaging technique helps predict how vision recovers after brain tumor removal
An interdisciplinary team of University neuroscientists and neurosurgeons has used a new imaging technique to show how the human brain heals itself in just a few weeks following surgical removal of a brain tumor. Read more on the Rochester University website...
December 2014: Treating Brain Cancer in 2014: A Conversation With Tracy Batchelor, MD
Read the article in the ASCOPost.com
December 2014: Brain Tumor Gene Found, Linking Familial Glioma Between Family Members
A gene linked to causing brain tumors in families has been discovered, and researchers believe it’s only the beginning of spotting hereditary mutations. An international team of researchers have found a genetic link associated with hereditary brain tumors called familial glioma. Read more at MedicalDaily.com.
October 2014: Vibrating Micro-Bubbles Let Drugs Sneak Across the Blood-Brain Barrier
Ultrasound technology and micro-bubbles together have pried open one of the most resistant barriers in the body. Read more at Smithsonian.com.
October 2014: Calgary research produces promising results for brain cancer patients

Researchers at the University of Calgary may have found a way to prolong the life of people living with an aggressive type of brain cancer. Scientists at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) used human brain tumour-initiating cells from 100 glioblastoma patients to test a drug that could target the disease. Read more at CTV News

August 2014: Edmonton researchers find new target for cancer therapies
Researchers at the University of Alberta may have helped uncover a novel method of treating glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Chemistry professor Christopher Cairo and his team synthesized a compound that inhibits the enzyme neuraminidase four (NEU4). Read more in the Edmonton Journal.
July 2014: New Results Show Personalized Brain Tumor Vaccine Helps Patients Live Longer
In this phase two study, 50 percent of glioblastoma patients lived for two years, an encouraging result for one of the most deadly cancers that often kills patients within one year of diagnosis. Read more at Health Canal.
July 2014: Stereotactic radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone has become one of the treatment options for patients with 1–4 metastases as the detrimental effects of whole brain radiation therapy on neurocognition and quality of life are becoming well known. This review aims at summarizing the current evidence of SRS for multiple brain metastases, divided into limited (2–3) and multiple (≥4) lesions. It also reviews the technical aspects and cost–effectiveness of SRS. Read more at Informa Healthcare.
July 2014: Scientists find important piece in the brain tumour puzzle
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University and McGill University Health Centre have shown that a member of the protein family known as SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier) is a key to why tumour cells multiply uncontrollably, especially in the case of glioblastoma. Identifying SUMO’s role in the cancer cell growth will lead to a new strategy for glioblastoma treatment. Read more at Health Canal.
July 2014: Living longer with adult high-grade glioma:setting a research agenda for patients and their caregivers
The long-term survival of patients with adult high-grade glioma (HGG) remains poor, but for those who do live longer functional status and neurocognitive ability may be influenced by residual or recurrent tumour, or treatment-related complications. Read more at Springer Link.
July 2014: Symptoms, coping, and quality of life in pediatric brain tumor survivors: a qualitative study
The purpose of this study is to explore the symptom experience, coping strategies, and children's descriptions of their quality of life (QOL) after treatment for a brain tumor. Read more at NCBI.
June 2014: Advances in genetic and epigenetic analyses of gliomas: a neuropathological perspective
Gliomas, the most common malignant primary brain tumors, are universally fatal once they progress from low-grade into high-grade neoplasms. In recent years, we have accumulated unprecedented data about the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in gliomas; yet, our appreciation of how these deadly tumors arise is still rudimentary. Read more at Springer Link.
June 2014: Neurosurgical virtual reality simulation metrics to assess psychomotor skills during brain tumor resection
This study shows how virtual reality simulator technology together with novel metrics could advance our understanding of expert neurosurgical performance and modify and improve resident training and assessment. Read more at Springer Link.
June 2014: Newly identified brain cancer mutation may can aid drug development
Researchers have identified a genetic mutation in brain cancer tumor cells that plays a role in both the growth and the death of the cell. Additionally, the mutation to the newly identified gene may also contribute to the tumor's resistance to radiation. Read more at Oncology Nurse Advisor.
June 2014: Advancing the search for new cancer drugs
Most recently, drugs that target the Hedgehog pathway entered clinical practice to treat basal cell carcinoma [a form of skin cancer] and medulloblastoma [a brain tumour mainly affecting children]. Targeted therapies have revolutionised the treatment of cancer since they were first introduced. Read more at Medical Xpress. 
June 2014: Longer Telomeres, Considered Sign of Good Health, Linked to Brain Cancer Risk
Research conducted by Mayo Clinic investigators has found that two common gene variants that lead to longer telomeres — the caps on chromosome ends thought by many scientists to confer health by protecting cells from aging — also significantly increase the risk of developing gliomas, a deadly form of brain cancer. Read more at Health Canal.
June 2014: Nuvilex And Medical Marijuana Sciences: Furthering Cancer Research
Cancer is a disease that affects nearly everyone in the developed world in some way or another. 1 in 2 men in the United States are predicted to develop cancer in their lifetimes. Some forms of cancer, such as pancreatic and brain cancers, are especially hard to treat with conventional technologies. Nuvilex, a biotechnology corporation based in Maryland, is looking to change that. Read more at Medical Jane.
June 2014: Synthetic small molecule may help chemo get into brain
In a new study on mice, researchers show it is possible to deliver drugs to fight cancer and other diseases into the brain via the bloodstream using a small molecule to carry them. Reporting in the journal PLOS ONE, the team, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, says the synthetic peptide carrier can ferry the drugs across the blood-brain barrier without them having to be modified. Read more at Medical News Today.
June 2014: Immunotherapy shows promise in treating brain cancer
Combining standard chemotherapy treatment with immunotherapy may buy some time for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). The results of the study showed the treatment was safe and effective - most study participants lived much longer than the median survival of less than six months for patients with recurrent GBM. Read more at Life Scientist.
June 2014: Chemotherapy After Radiation Improves Outcomes For Brain Cancer Patients
Gliomas are a type of brain tumor that are often treated with surgery or radiation therapy. But with either therapy, gliomas almost always progress and become more aggressive. Now, new research has shown that radiation therapy followed by a certain kind of chemotherapy improved progression-free survival (PFS) and life-expectancy in adults with low-grade gliomas, when compared to only radiation therapy. Read more at Medical Daily.
June 2014: New Gene Responsible For Rare Brain Cancer Found; Is A Strong Candidate For Drug Development
Researchers have achieved a breakthrough while studying the possible genetic causes of brainstem glioma, a rare and potentially deadly cancer of the brain, which is mostly diagnosed in children and young adults. This discovery may aid in the development of therapeutic options to treat this cancer. Read more at Medical Daily.
May 2014: Brain Cancer Destroyed as Collateral Damage From Immune Response to CMV
Evidence from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute suggests that training a person’s T-cells to attack infections of cytomegalovirus (CMV) through an immune system response may also eliminate aggressive forms of brain cancer as collateral damage. The results of this successful Phase I clinical trial study were published in the journal Cancer Research. Read more at Liberty Voice.
May 2014: Study Shows Tale of Two Prognoses in Pediatric Brain Tumor, Pilocytic Astrocytoma
Newswise — Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) is a primarily pediatric brain tumor caused mainly by mutations in the BRAF gene. In fact, there are two specific mechanisms for activation of BRAF implicated in PA formation: by fusion of the gene with nearby gene KIAA1549 (K:B fusion) or by point mutations of the BRAF gene itself. Research presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2014 used a newly designed test for K:B fusion to show that point mutations lead to a more dangerous form of the disease than does K:B fusion. Read more at News Wise.
May 2014: New brain cancer treatment targets tumor hypoxia to make radiation therapy work better
Omniox, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company with a new protein-based platform (H-NOX) that has been engineered to make radiation therapy more effective for certain brain tumors. Read more at MedCity.
May 2014: UAB study identifies way brain tumours fuel their growth
In a study published online in The Journal of Clinical Investigation on May 27, Markus Bredel, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology and senior scientist in the neuro-oncology program at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues demonstrate that a phenomenon known as “alternative splicing” allows brain tumors to incapacitate a key tumor suppressor gene, and that this splicing event happens in a tissue-specific context. Read more at UAB News.
May 2014: EMA advisors reject Avastin for brain cancer
Advisors to the European Medicines Agency have recommended against expanding the label on Roche's blockbuster Avastin to include an aggressive type of brain cancer. Read more at Pharmatimes.
May 2014: Ziopharm shares up after data shows drug may work in brain cancer
Ziopharm Oncology has presented data showing its potential drug that’s in midstage trials to treat breast and skin cancer has shown early-stage promise in the tough-to-treat area of brain cancer. Read more at Biz Journals.
May 2014: This Electric Helmet Looks Goofy But It Zaps Deadly Brain Cancer
Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer. Nausea-inducing chemotherapy can prolong life by a few months, but there's another gentler though funnier-looking treatment: a cap that literally zaps the tumor away. Read more at Gizmodo.
May 2014: Human fat may be a Trojan horse in the fight against brain cancer
Stem cells derived from human body fat have been successfully used to deliver biologic treatments directly to the brains of mice with the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor, significantly extending their lives. Read more at Oncology Nurse Advisor. 
May 2014: New Research Aims to Impact Pediatric Brain Cancer
Through donations and fundraisers, Nebraskans have helped the Team Jack Foundation commit more than $1 million for pediatric brain cancer research. One project the Team Jack Foundation is especially excited about is a research prototype they hope will be a game changer for kids who are battling pediatric brain cancer. Read more at 1011 Now.
May 2014: Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. Collaborators to Present Positive Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Data at the 50th Annual ASCO Meeting
"Treatment options for patients with brain cancer often include invasive surgery and local administration of therapeutic agents," said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. "With this early data suggesting that reovirus can cross the blood brain barrier, it may provide physicians with another, less invasive option in the treatment of both primary brain cancer and metastatic disease associated with other cancer types, which is estimated to occur in about one quarter of all cancer cases where it spreads through the body." Read more at Market Watch.
May 2014: New vaccine, new hope in attacking brain tumors
Vancouver woman participates in first phase of trials for treatment that uses the body's immune system. Read more at The Columbian.
May 2014: Using Herpes To Treat Cancer: Brain Tumors Killed With Herpes-Packed Stem Cells
Research scientists may have figured out how to destroy the most common brain tumor in human adults, which also happens to be the most difficult to treat. Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) at Massachusetts General Hospital found that by trapping herpes-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors, they were able to significantly improve the survival rate of mice with glioblastoma multiforme brain tumors. Read more at Medical Daily. 
May 2014: SapC-DOPS Technology May Help With Imaging Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are an extremely serious example of this and are not only difficult to treat—both adult and pediatric patients have a five-year survival rate of only 30 percent—but also have even been difficult to image, which could provide important information for deciding next steps in the treatment process. Read more at Red Orbit. 
 May 2014: Herpes-loaded stem cells used to kill brain tumors
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumor cells using cancer-killing viruses. The investigators report that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults and also the most difficult to treat. Read more at R&D.
May 2014: JHU Researchers Stumble Upon Treatment That May Help Brain Cancer Patients
A group of Johns Hopkins researchers ended up stumbling upon a common parasite treatment that may help people with brain cancer after first testing the drug on mice as a treatment for pinworm. Read more at InTheCapital. 
May 2014: UTHSC, BCM Researchers Use Big Data To Slow Brain Tumor Growth
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Baylor College of Medicine biochemists have discovered a protein that can slow down or speed up the growth of brain tumors. The results come from a preclinical study that utilized Big Data analysis, the results of which could revolutionize the treatment of cancer. Read more at BIO Texas News.
May 2014: IsoRay (ISR) Gains on Approval of Brain Cancer Treatment – Shares in hotly-watched health care small-cap
IsoRay (ISR) were on the rise again today after the company released a statement that it had received final approval from the Washington Department of Health to manufacture its liquid Cesium-131 product for use in treating brain cancers. Read more at Equities.
May 2014: Henry Ford researchers identify genetic factors that may aid survival from brain cancer
A Henry Ford Hospital research team has identified specific genes that may lead to improved survival of glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of cancerous brain tumor.
The molecular data is expected to aid further research into genes that either help or impede the survival of patients diagnosed with the tumor, which can invade and rapidly grow in any part of the human brain.Read more at Eureka Alert.
April 2014: New insight into fatal childhood brain tumour may lead to patient-targeted treatment
Imagine being a parent receiving news that your six-year-old child has a brain tumour that has no effective treatment, and is almost universally fatal. This is a harsh reality for the 30 children in Canada who are diagnosed each year with a rare paediatric cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The failure of most therapies for this cancer can be attributed to the delicate location of the tumours and the assumption that DIPGs are similar to a type of adult brain cancer, glioblastomas. Read more at Sick Kids.
March 2014: The Role of Brain Tumor Advocacy Groups
This review looks at the literature on patient advocacy groups and provides specific examples of brain tumor advocacy organizations that offer these services. It examines the evolution of the role of these organizations over time, and how that has been reflected in the programs and services provided. This is a collaborative effort to highlight programs and services across multiple patient advocacy organizations. Read more at Springer Link.
February 2014: Invasion and proliferation kinetics in enhancing gliomas predict IDH1 mutation status
Glioblastomas with a specific mutation in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene have a better prognosis than gliomas with wild-type IDH1. Here we compare the IDH1 mutational status in 172 contrast-enhancing glioma patients with the invasion profile generated by a patient-specific mathematical model we developed based on MR imaging.

We show that IDH1-mutated contrast-enhancing gliomas were relatively more invasive than wild-type IDH1 for all 172 contrast-enhancing gliomas as well as the subset of 158 histologically confirmed glioblastomas. The appearance of this relatively increased, model-predicted invasive profile appears to be determined more by a lower model-predicted net proliferation rate rather than an increased model-predicted dispersal rate of the glioma cells. Receiver operator curve analysis of the model-predicted MRI based invasion profile revealed an area under the curve of 0.91, indicative of a predictive relationship. The robustness of this relationship was tested by cross-validation analysis of the invasion profile as a predictive metric for IDH1 status. Read more in this pdf of the journal article...

February 2014: Parents’ perspectives of life challenges experienced by long-term paediatric brain tumour survivors: work and finances, daily and social functioning, and legal difficulties
Paediatric brain tumour survivors (PBTS) are at high risk for medical, neurocognitive and psychological sequelea during adulthood. Details illustrating the types and breadth of these chronic sequelae are essential to fully comprehend their impact on daily living. Read more at Springer Link.
February 2014: SickKids scientists uncover mystery behind brain tumour’s chemo resistance
Researchers have discovered why a type of childhood brain cancer doesn’t respond to chemotherapy and have identified an alternative. Read more at thestar.com.
February 2014: Promising brain tumor treatment hijacks "monorail" that lets cancer spread
Tough-to-treat glioblastoma brain tumors may have met their match in a promising new treatment that “hijacks” what makes the deadly cancers spread so easily, turning that mechanism against the cancer itself. Read more at CBSNews.com.
February 2014: Gene mutation defines brain tumors that benefit from aggressive surgery
Patients with malignant astrocytoma whose tumors carry the gene mutation isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) may benefit greatly from surgical removal of the largest possible amount of tumor, according to a newly published study. Read more at OncologyNurseAdvisor.com.
January 2014: Impact of Millimeter-Level Margins on Peripheral Normal Brain Sparing for Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
To investigate how millimeter-level margins beyond the gross tumor volume (GTV) impact peripheral normal brain tissue sparing for Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Read more at Radiation Oncology.



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