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May 2014 

ABTA TabHow Can You Make a Breakthrough in May?
Throughout the month of May, the ABTA is taking part in the observance of Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Visit to see the ways you can get involved, including following us on social media, wearing ABTA gear and much more.

Take Our Survey ButtonAs the only national organization providing brain tumor patients with information and resources on their treatment and care, we are interested in hearing from you about your experience with health care costs, access to care and quality. 

This anonymous survey about how health care reform has affected you will help inform our advocacy efforts on behalf of brain tumor patients and caregivers. Findings will be shared in an upcoming e-news. Click here to take our survey.


A Very Special Mother's Day
Denise O'Brien Peterson VideoDenise O'Brien-Peterson has a very special mother's day coming up. Not only is it her first as a mother, but it is her first as a brain tumor survivor. She was kind enough to share her story with us.

Click here to watch Denise's story.


Ask an ABTA Researcher
The ABTA receives so many great questions from patients, caregivers and supporters across the country, that we thought it would be great to share the questions we get and, more importantly, the answers.

Q: How might brain tumor treatments be impacted by advances in genomics and personalized medicine?

Answers provided by Jeffrey Bruce, MD, of Columbia University and Jialiang Wang, PhD, of Vanderbilt University.  Dr. Bruce offers a clinicians perspective answering the question, while Dr. Wang provides views from a researcher.  Click here to read their full answers.   

Dr Jeffrey Bruce               Dr Jialiang Wang    

We would love to hear from you. If you have a question you would like to submit, click here.  

Registration is Open for the 2014 Patient and Family Conference
2014 Patient Conference Eblast Picture 3Join us for the ABTA's 2014 conference, "Providing and Pursuing Answers: Advances in Research, Treatment and Care," taking place July 25-26 in Chicago.

Meet and speak with leading neuro-oncology physicians and researchers, allied health care professionals and other patients and caregivers. Register at 


tab research news

Immunotherapy and GBM
Standard treatment for GBM begins with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. An article published in Cure magazine (March 2014), highlights current research and the potential for immunotherapy treatments in brain tumors. The goal is to stimulate the body’s immune system into recognizing and attacking cancer cells, and optimally, with limited toxicities to patients. As researchers better understand the diversity of brain tumor cells and the methods they use to evade normal immune responses, personalized immunotherapy will likely play a greater role in treatment planning. Click here to read more about these advances.  


Sparing the Hippocampus During Radiation for Medulloblastoma 
Researchers in Sweden and Denmark recently investigated techniques for varying the radiation treatment margin around a tumor with the goal of sparing the hippocampus and limiting the risk of neurocognitive impairment in pediatric medulloblastoma patients. The hippocampus, located deep within the brain, is important for memory formation and cognition. The scientists hypothesized that reducing the dose of radiation to the hippocampus (called hippocampal sparing) would likely reduce the risk of late neurocognitive side effects. Seventeen medulloblastoma patients participated in the study which looked at tumor size, position, and how varying the treatment margins would influence outcomes. Treatment plans were generated using 3D conformal radiotherapy, hippocampal sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and spot-scanned proton therapy. In the April 2014 issue of Neuro-oncology, the study authors suggest balancing the size of the radiated margin around the tumor and the risks of neuro-cognitive impairment. Click here to read the results.

Online Education Tab

Thursday, May 22 at 2 p.m. – Genomics and Its Implications for Brain Tumors.
Will Parsons webinar sliderJoin Will Parsons, MD, PhD, of Texas Children's Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, as he discusses how genomic testing is being used to study the biology of brain tumors, and the clinical application of genomics for personalized medicine. Click here to RSVP.

Thursday, June 5 at 1 p.m. - Radiotherapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors and Late Effects of Radiotherapy in Children.
June 5 Webinar pediatric radiotherapy webinar dr. john breneJoin John Breneman, MD, of University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children's Hospital as he discusses radiotherapy in children, late effects and special considerations when using this treatment on children. Click here to RSVP

Missed a webinar? You can watch it anytime. 
All of the ABTA's past webinars are online at the Anytime Learning section of  

tab events

Chicago Makes a Major Breakthrough
Team Kevin Chicago BT5KThe Chicago BT5K, which took place on April 27, was incredible. Nearly 4,400 runners and walkers raised nearly $860,000! It was an amazing event, and we're so thankful to all of our participants and supporters. Click here to view photos from the event.

Our breakthroughs don't stop there, though! We're continuing to host BT5K Run & Walks all across the country: 

Visit to learn more about all of our events!


Challenge Yourself to Move Further
team breakthrough peggyIf you're looking to run farther than a 5K, try to go the distance as part of Team Breakthrough, the ABTA's endurance team. You can run a full or half marathon, or distance of your choosing through the "Choose Your Own" program. No matter how far you are looking to go, we're here to help you reach your goals. Visit

Don't forget - we have a limited of number of guaranteed entries to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Call Alisha at 800-886-1281 or email her at to learn more. 

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing information, support and educational resources for all age groups and all  tumor types. For more information, visit or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).
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The "American Brain Tumor Association" name and logo,  the "Breakthrough for Brain Tumors" name and logo, the "Team Breakthrough" name and logo and "TrialConnect" are registered trademarks of the American Brain Tumor Association. All rights reserved. 
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For brain tumor information and support CALL OUR CARELINE: 800-886-ABTA (2282) or e-mail

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This communication is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice and does not provide advice on treatments or conditions for individual patients. All health and treatment decisions must be made in consultation with your physician(s), utilizing your specific medical information. The links set out on this communication are provided for your convenience only. The American Brain Tumor Association does not endorse the information contained on the linked websites or individual(s)/companies/institutions operating these websites.