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Research News


Physician calls for better palliative care for children
Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, seeks a better way to care for sick children and their families. Wolfe insists on greater support for families during each stage of a child’s illness. – Cognoscenti


Experimental drug attacks brain tumor tissue
Researchers are currently testing a drug called MP-MUS that attacks brain tumor tissue, yet does not appear to affect healthy brain cells grown in the lab. Unlike chemotherapy in general, this drug works by affecting mitochondrial DNA rather than DNA in the nucleus. – EurekAlert!


Potential treatment for DIPG identified
Based on studies in the lab using cultured tumor cells from patients, a group of international scientists has found that the drug panobinostat, and other similar gene-regulating drugs, may be effective at treating diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. – National Institutes of Health


Study analyzes behaviors of cells in glioblastomas
Researchers led by The Hospital for Sick Children in Canada have developed an analysis technique to profile the behaviors of the diverse cancer cell populations that exist within each patient’s glioblastoma. – HealthCanal


Childhood cancer survivors more likely to receive disability benefits as adults
Adult survivors of childhood cancer often face health-related challenges. Recent studies show that as a result, they are more likely to claim Social Security disability assistance.


Number of childhood cancer survivors increasing
While the number of childhood cancer survivors who live five or more years past diagnosis is increasing, researchers are also finding that many survivors may have at least one chronic health condition. – American Association for Cancer Research


Researchers identify genetic pathway that acts as key regulator for other genes
Scientists have conducted experiments using cells from patients with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors and found that an anticancer drug currently in clinical trials for other types of childhood brain cancer may disrupt a key genetic pathway associated with tumor growth and resistance to treatment. – ScienceDaily


New devices help identify outline, location of brain tumors
A handheld fiber optic probe and a PET scan are helping surgeons better understand the location and outline of cancerous tissue in the brain. – The Health Cast


Duke explores genetically modified poliovirus to treat glioblastoma
60 Minutes recently featured a story on how a genetically modified poliovirus is being used to treat glioblastoma in adults. Through PBTF funding, the lead Duke University researcher, Dr. Matthias Gromeier, has generated evidence from laboratory studies that this approach may also be applicable for clinical testing against pediatric brain tumors, once the approach is significantly worked out in adults. – 60 Minutes


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