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: What are the benefits of rehabilitative medicine services for people living with a benign or malignant brain tumor?
Answer provided by Stacy McCarty, MD, a 2011 ABTA Discovery Project Grant recipient. Click here to read her full answer and bio.
We would love to hear from you. If you have a question you would like to submit, click here.
First Ever Clinical Practice Guidelines for Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients
With more than 4,300 cases of pediatric brain tumors in the U.S. each year, the ABTA has paired with the American Association of Nueroscience Nurses (AANN) to develop the first ever nursing clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of pediatric brain tumor patients.
While working on nursing clinical practice guidelines for adult brain tumor patients, it became clear that a dedicated piece of the pediatric patient was needed.
The goal of the guidelines is to help nurses provide consistent and evidence-based care for pediatric brain tumor patients and their families from diagnosis throughout the trajectory of the illness.
Click here to read more about the Clinical Practice Guidelines.
ABTA Funds Researchers to Pursue Answers to Brain Tumor Questions
The ABTA is excited to announce that we recently awarded twelve new ABTA-funded grants to researchers from around the country. These projects were selected by a scientific committee based on their potential to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors.
The recipients of the ABTA’s Basic Research Fellowships are early career scientists who have been identified with the potential to be bright, future leaders in the field. This two year award provides recipients the opportunity to be mentored by world-class scientists in renowned laboratories, and have protected time in the laboratory to learn the research skills specifically needed in neuro-oncology. The 2014-2016 Fellows will be focusing on:
- research using imaging tools to monitor treatment effects.
- next-generation sequencing techniques to identify genes involved in the growth of pediatric spinal cord astrocytomas.
- methods of silencing a protein involved in tumor initiation.
- targeting macrophages to improve the effectiveness of therapy.
Additionally, ABTA Discovery Grants, which are one year awards for cutting edge, innovative approaches that have the potential to make breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors, were also awarded for 2014-2015. The recipients of this year’s funding cycle have projects that focus on immunotherapy, drug and gene therapies, and cell metabolism.
These studies seek to:
- improve outcomes by better understanding the environment around the tumor.
- determine if a cytotoxin found in the Panamanian waterways can trigger pathways, target and eliminate brain cancer cells.
- develop ways to boost and harness the body’s own immune system to eradicate brain tumors.
- refine a gene therapy using an engineered rabies virus.
- increase tumor cells sensitivity to temozolomide.
- explore the role of estrogen in suppressing tumor growth.
The ABTA is proud to support these researchers as they endeavor to gain a deeper understanding about the biology and treatment of brain tumors. For more information about these projects, click here.
Long-term Outcome of Pediatric Low Grade Glioma
Researchers reviewed the medical records of 4,040 patients with pediatric low grade gliomas (PLGG’s) to learn their outcomes and risk of death. Of this group, 87% had survived at least 20 years. The year of diagnosis, the child’s age at age at diagnosis, histology, WHO grade, primary site of the tumor, radiation, and degree of initial resection were all evaluated. The researchers concluded that PLGGs are associated with an excellent long-term survival, with a low likelihood of PLGG-related death in adult survivors. Treatment strategies for pediatric tumors should therefore aim for disease control during childhood and adolescence, and emphasize the minimization of long-term treatment induced toxicities. This information was presented during an ABTA webinar by Dr. Peter Manley from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Click to access the webinar, or read the entire article here.
Living Well, With a Brain Tumor and Beyond
Wednesday, August 13 at 1 p.m.
Join Elizabeth Sherwood, RN, MS, ANP-C, of the University of North Carolina's Survivorship and Integrative Medicine Programs in Oncology. Ms. Sherwood will discuss helpful strategies for approaching wellness and teach skills for living mindfully with a brain tumor diagnosis. Click here to RSVP.
Meningiomas: Risk Factors, Treatment Options and Future Advances
Wednesday, September 10 at 2 p.m.
Join Ronald Warnick, MD, as he presents a webinar discussing incidence rates, risk factors, tumor classification and presenting symptoms of meningiomas. He will explain the role of imaging as well as various treatment options including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. 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 www.abta.org.
Spotlight on Miles for Michael
This October, Miranda Tengram and her team, "Miles for Michael," will walk in the second annual BT5K Dallas event. Her dad, Michael, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma and paseed away just three weeks before the inaugural BT5K Dallas.
"The races really provides a supportive environment for individuals, families and friends who are both celebrating those who are winning their battles and honoring those who have passed away," Miranda said. "My family values the opportunity to raise money to help find more effective treatments for all types of brain tumors, and it is a blessing to do it in honor of such a wonderful man."
To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.bt5k.org.
Challenge Yourself to Move Further
If 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 www.abtaTeamBreakthrough.org.