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Research News


Ion channel blockers may be useful in cancer therapy
Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco have found that potassium ion channels may be useful targets in cancer therapy. Their preclinical findings led to the unconventional use of an ion channel blocker in a patient with refractory metastatic medulloblastoma. – Medical Xpress


Agenus announces data on vaccine in GBM patients
Agenus Inc. reported its vaccine, Prophage, proved to be effective in achieving overall survival of 24 months in adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) when added to standard treatment. A correlation was found between the level of PD-L1 expression – a biomarker on white blood cells - and response to treatment. – Agenus


Celldex shares positive data for GBM vaccine
Celldex Therapeutics recently unveiled mid-stage data on vaccine Rintega plus the drug becacizumab, which shows a median overall survival benefit of two months in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This is compared to patients receiving bevacizumab only. Studies were performed on adults 18 and older. – FirstWord


Promising results found in GBM drug tests
Researchers found that patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) who were given nivolumab, either alone or with ipilimumab, experienced increased survival rates. The results are derived from a study in 20 individuals 18 and older. – Cancer Therapy Advisor


Researchers find possible Achilles’ heel in glioblastomas
Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified targets for glioblastoma stem cells that would potentially serve as a target for future therapies. – Medical Xpress


Traffic pollution may be linked to childhood brain tumors
A study conducted by researchers in Texas shows that children who live in areas with high concentrations of traffic pollution had higher occurrences of astrocytoma and medulloblastoma. – Wiley Online Library


Obama appoints pediatric oncologist to national board
Peter Adamson, MD, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the sole pediatric oncologist on the National Cancer Advisory Board.


Brain activity potentially drives tumor growth
For the first time, a study shows that brain activity and tumor growth are linked. – Stanford Medicine


Study compares results of chemotherapy drugs administered during radiation
A feasibility study compares the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs administered during radiation treatment in childhood high-grade gliomas. The outcome showed that temozolomide performed best. – Oxford Journals


PBTF helps conduct study that examines potential years of life lost in young brain tumor patients
In the realm of childhood cancers, incidence and survival rates are commonly reported statistics, but these may fail to capture the full impact of the disease. In a new study, researchers, including PBTF’s vice president of research, describe the years of potential life lost and years of life lived with disease in children and adolescents who died of cancer in the United States. – Cancer Medicine Journal


Cancer community concerned about EU proposal
A recent European Parliament resolution may impose that researchers be required to ask for a patient's ‘specific’ consent each time new research is carried out on already available data and/or tissues. The unintended consequence of the wording may put at stake the practice of retrospective clinical research, tissue banking and population-based cancer registries.


Parents donate child’s tumor tissue to research
After losing their 6-year-old son to DIPG, parents Lenore and Trevor Wyant donated his tumor tissue to research, hoping to find answers for other children battling the disease. Because of donated tissue samples, scientists were able to conduct the studies that led to the discovery reported in 2012, that unique genetic mutations are present in 80 percent of DIPG samples. –USA Today


Childhood cancer survivors face more health issues in adulthood
According to a federally funded study led by researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, adult survivors of childhood cancer face significant health problems as they age. The study shows that these survivors are five times more likely than their siblings to develop new cancers beyond the age of 35. –Science Daily