cns cancers
issues in oncology

Researchers Identify Transcription Factors Distinguishing Glioblastoma Stem Cells

The activity of four transcription factors appears to distinguish the small proportion of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor. The findings by Suvà et al, published online in Cell, support the importance of epigenetics in...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Deep, Integrated Genomic Analysis Reclassifies Lower-Grade Brain Tumors

Using comprehensive genomic analysis, researchers have sorted low-grade brain tumors into three categories, one of which has the molecular hallmarks and shortened survival of glioblastoma multiforme, the most lethal of brain tumors. The findings were reported at the American Association for Cancer...

issues in oncology
cns cancers

18F-FDOPA PET Predicts Good Prognosis as Soon as 2 Weeks After Start of Antiangiogenic Therapy in Recurrent High-Grade Glioma

In a study reported in Clinical Cancer Research, Schwarzenberg et al found 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]-fluoro-L-phenylalanine (18F-FDOPA) positron-emission tomography (PET) metabolic tumor volume values at 2 weeks after the start of bevacizumab (Avastin) were highly predictive of outcome in patients with ...

cns cancers

Metastatic Neuroblastoma Confined to Distant Lymph Nodes Associated With Better Survival Compared With Other Stage IV Disease

The pattern of metastatic spread is not incorporated into current risk-stratification systems for neuroblastoma. In a retrospective study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Morgenstern et al found that patients with neuroblastoma with metastatic disease limited to distant lymph nodes...

cns cancers

Pemetrexed and Gemcitabine Show Promise Against Aggressive Childhood Brain Tumor

The quest to improve survival of children with a high-risk brain tumor has led investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to two drugs already used to treat adults with breast, pancreatic, lung, and other cancers. The study by Morfouace at al was published today in Cancer Cell....

cns cancers
issues in oncology

IDH1-Mutant Malignant Astrocytomas May Be More Amenable to Surgical Resection and Linked to Better Prognosis

IDH1 mutation in patients with malignant astrocytomas may serve as a predictive molecular biomarker to guide aggressive surgical resection, according to the results of a study reported by Beiko et al in Neuro-Oncology. Maximal surgical resection may contribute a survival benefit in those who have...

issues in oncology
cns cancers

Blood Test Could Improve Treatment for Children With Late-Stage Neuroblastoma

Research by Viprey et al has found that the detection of neuroblastoma mRNAs in peripheral blood and bone marrow aspirates from children diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma are independent predictors of event-free survival and overall survival. Their findings could help identify children with...

cns cancers

Study Identifies Possible New Target for Future Glioblastoma Drugs

A molecule in cells that shuts down the expression of genes might be a promising target for new drugs designed to treat the most frequent and lethal form of brain cancer, according to a new study by Yan et al published in Cancer Research. The findings show that high levels of the enzyme PRMT5...

cns cancers

Bevacizumab Added to Radiotherapy/Temozolomide Improves Progression-Free Survival but Not Overall Survival in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

In a double-blind phase III trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Chinot et al assessed adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to radiotherapy and temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. This was the second of two similar studies published in the February 20 issue of...

cns cancers

Adding Bevacizumab to Radiotherapy and Temozolomide Does Not Improve Overall Survival in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

In a double-blind phase III trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Gilbert et al assessed adding bevacizumab (Avastin), which is currently approved in recurrent glioblastoma, to radiotherapy and temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The addition of bevacizumab...

cns cancers

Study Identifies Common Driver of a Childhood Brain Tumor

The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified the most common genetic alteration ever reported in the brain tumor ependymoma and evidence that the alteration drives tumor development. The findings were published online in...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Small Panel of FISH Cytogenetic Markers Distinguishes Risk in Medulloblastoma Subgroups

Among the four major molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma, WNT tumors are associated with excellent prognosis, whereas SHH and Group 4 tumors are associated with intermediate and Group 3 tumors with poor prognosis. In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Shih et al identified a...

cns cancers

Optimized Radiation Treatment Schedule for Glioblastoma May Extend Survival

An altered radiation treatment schedule for glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer, extended the survival period of mice with the disease, according to a new study published in Cell. Because the research involved mice, the study does not recommend a specific new schedule for...

cns cancers

Potential Therapeutic Role for Aspirin in the Management of Sporadic Vestibular Schwannoma

In patients with sporadic vestibular schwannoma, aspirin may be of benefit in minimizing tumor growth, according to the results of a retrospective study presented by Kandathil et al in Otology and Neurotology. This finding may eliminate the need for invasive therapy and may complement existing...

cns cancers

High Prevalence of Platinum-Related Hearing Loss in Children With High-Risk Neuroblastoma, With Differences According to Audiometry Scales

The reported prevalence of platinum-associated ototoxicity in children with high-risk neuroblastoma varies widely due to small patient samples and use of disparate grading scales. In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Landier et al in the Children’s Oncology Group assessed...

cns cancers

Adding Chemotherapy to Radiotherapy Does Not Appear to Affect Cognitive Function in Patients With Low-Grade Glioma

The addition of PCV (procarbazine [Matulane], lomustine [CeeNu], vincristine) chemotherapy to radiotherapy improves progression-free survival in patients with grade 2 glioma, but the potential effect of treatment intensification on cognitive function is a concern in this group of patients with good ...

cns cancers

Study Questions the Anticancer Mechanism of Metformin

The drug metformin, which is approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, has been tested in clinical trials as a tumor suppressor in different cancers due to its role in activating the AMPK signaling pathway. However, a new study by Liu et al published in Proceedings of the National Academy of...

cns cancers
pancreatic cancer

Combination Capecitabine/Temozolomide Appears Highly Effective in Patients With Treatment-Resistant Neuroendocrine Tumors

Interim results from an ongoing phase II clinical trial in patients with various types of advanced neuroendocrine tumors show that a new chemotherapy combination of capecitabine and temozolomide either stalled disease progression or shrank tumors in 95% of patients whose disease worsened after...

cns cancers

Interim Phase I/II Clinical Trial Data for VAL-083 Show Clinical Activity in Refractory Glioblastoma

Interim phase I/II clinical trial data for VAL-083—a bifunctional DNA alkylator that crosses the blood-brain barrier with preferential accumulation in brain tumor tissue—in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme were presented by Shih et al at the 4th Quadrennial Meeting of the ...

cns cancers

Imaging Studies May Predict Tumor Response to Antiangiogenic Drugs

Advanced imaging techniques may be able to distinguish which patients' tumors will respond to treatment with antiangiogenic drugs and which will not. In a report published online in PNAS, researchers studied patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma who were treated with the antiangiogenic agent...

cns cancers

RTOG 0525 Subanalysis Finds Worse Outcomes With Dose-Dense vs Standard Adjuvant Temozolomide in Glioblastoma

A phase III trial (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group [RTOG] 0525; N = 833) comparing dose-dense vs standard-dose temozolomide maintenance in newly diagnosed glioblastoma showed no differences in overall survival or progression-free survival between treatments. A substudy of the trial, reported in...

cns cancers

No Benefit of Dose-Dense vs Standard Temozolomide in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma, MGMT Methylation Associated With Better Survival

Dose-dense temozolomide results in depletion of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT)—a potential determinant of treatment response—in blood mononuclear cells and possibly in tumors. In a phase III trial (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group [RTOG] 0525) reported in the Journal ...

cns cancers

Researchers Identify Potential New Drug for Inherited Cancer

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have identified a new drug candidate for an inherited form of cancer with no known cure. The new study showed the drug candidate—known as FRAX97—slowed the proliferation and progression of tumor cells in animal models of neurofibromatosis...

cns cancers

ASTRO: Younger Adults With a Limited Number of Brain Metastases Have Improved Overall Survival After Stereotactic Radiosurgery Alone

When treated with stereotactic radiosurgery that is not combined with whole-brain radiotherapy, adult brain cancer patients who were 50 years old and younger were found to have improved survival, according to research presented on Sunday, September 22, at the American Society for Radiation...

cns cancers

ASTRO: Proton Therapy Yields Encouraging Outcomes for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients

When used to treat pediatric patients with intracranial malignant tumors, proton therapy may limit the toxicity of radiation therapy while preserving tumor control, according to research presented on Sunday, September 22, at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s 55th Annual Meeting...

cns cancers

Survival Advantage Seen in Glioblastoma Patients Taking Valganciclovir

Valganciclovir (Valcyte), a drug used to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) eye infections in people with HIV/AIDS, may lengthen survival in patients with glioblastoma, a Swedish study has found. The researchers evaluated 50 patients with glioblastoma who received valganciclovir as an add-on to standard...

cns cancers

New Laser-Based Tool Could Dramatically Improve the Accuracy of Brain Tumor Surgery

A new laser-based technology may make brain tumor surgery much more accurate, allowing surgeons to tell cancer tissue from normal brain at the microscopic level while they are operating, and avoid leaving behind cells that could spawn a new tumor. In a new paper published in Science Translational...

cns cancers

Brain Cancer Survival Improved Following FDA Approval of Bevacizumab, Mayo Study Finds

A new population-based study has found that patients with glioblastoma who died in 2010, after the FDA approval of bevacizumab (Avastin), had lived significantly longer than patients who died of the disease in 2008, prior to the conditional approval of the drug for the treatment of  brain...

cns cancers

No Progression-Free Survival Difference for Cediranib or Cediranib/Lomustine vs Lomustine in Recurrent Glioblastoma

In a phase III study (REGAL trial) reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Tracy T. Batchelor, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues compared oral monotherapy with the pan-VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor cediranib and the combination of cediranib plus lomustine (CeeNu) vs...

cns cancers

New MRI Technique Reveals Brain Tumor Response to Antiangiogenesis Therapy

A new way of analyzing data acquired in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appears to be able to identify whether or not tumors are responding to antiangiogenesis therapy, which may help physicians determine the most appropriate treatments for patients. In a report published online in Nature...

cns cancers

Study Suggests Neural Stem Cells May Regenerate After Radiation Therapy

Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate. But new research in mice suggests that neural stem cells, the body's source of new brain cells, are resistant to radiation, and can be roused from a hibernation-like...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Study Reveals Genes That Drive Glioblastoma

A team of researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center has identified 18 new genes responsible for driving glioblastoma multiforme, the most common—and most aggressive—form of brain cancer in adults. The study was published online...

cns cancers

No Difference in Outcome With Purged vs Nonpurged Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in High-Risk Neuroblastoma

The contribution of purging of peripheral blood stem cells to outcome of autologous stem cell transplantation in high-risk neuroblastoma has not been defined. In a trial (COG A3973) reported in Lancet Oncology by Susan G. Kreissman, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, and colleagues, children...

issues in oncology
cns cancers

Digital PCR Technology Detects Brain Tumor–associated Mutation in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have used digital versions of a standard molecular biology tool to detect a common tumor-associated mutation in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with brain tumors.  In a report published in Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids, the...

cns cancers

No Difference in Event-free Survival with Chemotherapy before vs after Radiation Therapy in Children with High-risk Medulloblastoma

A number of different strategies for combining chemotherapy and radiation therapy have been evaluated in the effort to improve survival in patients with high-risk medulloblastoma. In a trial (POG 9031) reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nancy J. Tarbell, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital ...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Adenovirus-mediated Gene Therapy with Sitimagene Ceradenovec Prolongs Median Time to Death or Reintervention in Adult Glioblastoma

In an open-label phase III trial (ASPECT) reported in Lancet Oncology, Manfred Westphal, MD, of University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, and colleagues assessed the effects of locally applied adenovirus-mediated gene therapy with sitimagene ceradenovec followed by intravenous ganciclovir after...

cns cancers

Virus Combination Effective Against Temozolomide-resistant Glioblastoma Multiforme

A combination of the myxoma virus and the immune suppressant rapamycin can kill glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and deadliest malignant brain tumor, according to new research published in Neuro-Oncology. Study lead author Peter A. Forsyth, MD, Chair of the Neuro-oncology Program at Moffitt ...

cns cancers

Metabolic Molecule Drives Growth of High-grade Glioma

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...

cns cancers

Cytomegalovirus Might Speed Brain Cancer Growth

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) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute suggests that cytomegalovirus, a virus that infects most adults in the United...

cns cancers

ASCO 2013: Adding Bevacizumab to Standard First-line Chemoradiation for Glioblastoma Does Not Improve Overall Survival

A randomized phase III study found no improvement in overall survival after the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard first-line chemoradiation for glioblastoma. Patients who received bevacizumab also experienced more side effects compared to those treated with chemoradiation alone. The...

cns cancers

New Minimally Invasive, MRI-guided Laser Treatment for Glioblastoma Found to Be Promising in Study

The NeuroBlate Thermal Therapy System provides a new, safe, and minimally invasive procedure for treating recurrent glioblastoma, according to the first-in-human study of the system. The study, published online today in the Journal of Neurosurgery, was written by lead author Andrew Sloan, MD,...

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