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  November, 2009  

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Share Holiday Greetings While Supporting ABTA
Send holiday greetings to family, friends and business associates while supporting the research and patient-family education and assistance programs of the American Brain Tumor Association. This year’s ABTA Holiday Card selection features more than 40 styles – from traditional and elegant to bold and whimsical, including photo cards and two designs created by children who attended ABTA’s 2008 Children’s Holiday Luncheon. Once the order is sent, cards are shipped within two to three days. All envelopes are foil-lined, and envelope personalization is available. Each card acknowledges a donation to ABTA. Read more

Patient Meeting Presentations Available at abta.org
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ABTA Events  
 

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Tickets Still Available for 5th Annual Brain Games
Join us at the American Brain Tumor Association’s annual evening of trivia fun on Saturday, November 21st, at the Westin River North in Chicago.  Attendees will enjoy dinner and a silent auction while playing fast-paced rounds of trivia, all to benefit ABTA’s research and patient-family programs.  Read more.

Save the Date: The 5th Annual ABTA Path to Progress 5K Run-Walk:
May 22, 2010
(subject to change) at Soldier Field

P2P Group of people

Check out www.pathtoprogress.org beginning Nov. 23, 2010. Save $5 off the registration fee if you register on or before Jan. 31, 2010.  Read more about ABTA volunteer events.

 

 
  Interested in hosting an event to benefit ABTA?
Call us at 800-886-1281
 
 


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Treatment  
 

ABTA Basic Research Fellowship and Translational Research Applications Available
The American Brain Tumor Association Basic Research Fellowships are two-year, $80,000 training awards that support young scientists entering the field of brain tumor research. One-year, $75,000 ABTA Translational Grants help researchers to further develop projects on the cusp of moving from the laboratory into patient testing. Translational Grants often support the pre-clinical data collection required before researchers can secure funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and/or other major funders. Applications for both awards are available in the Research Progress Section of the ABTA Web site and due Jan. 8, 2010.

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Treatment Tab  
 

Stem Cells May Restore Cognitive Abilities Following Brain Tumor Treatment
Human embryonic stem cells may restore memory and learning functions altered from radiation brain tumor treatment. According to a new study appearing in the Nov. 9, 2009 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research in rats found that transplanted stem cells restored learning and memory to normal levels four months after radiotherapy. In contrast, the rats that had received radiation without stem cell treatment experienced a more than 50 percent decrease in cognitive function. Read a free summary of the research.  Read a news release from the University of California, Irvine.

High-Dose Gamma Knife Radiation Combined with MR Spectroscopy Shows Promising Results in Glioblastoma Patients
High dose radiation in the form of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, aided by a novel type of imaging called “MR spectroscopy,” increased patient survival time in a new study.  The phase II, five-year study presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncolody (ASTRO) annual meeting, involved 35 glioblastoma multiforme patients. Each patient first underwent MR spectroscopy imaging to non-invasively identify the most aggressive regions of the tumor. These areas were then targeted with high-dose radiation from a Gamma Knife – a non-invasive procedure that directs radiation to specific points on the brain.  Plans for a phase III study are underway. Read a news release from University Hospitals Case Medical Center.  Read more about glioblastoma at the ABTA Web site.

Neurosurgeons Release Metastatic Brain Tumor Treatment Guidelines
The Congress of Neurological Surgeons recently released metastatic brain tumor treatment guidelines – based on new scientific evidence, including new technologies and treatments – to ensure the best treatment practices and patient outcomes. According to the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons (ANNS), 30 to 40 percent of the 1.4 Americans with cancer will develop a brain metastasis. The new brain metastases guidelines include: A range of therapeutic options for treating brain metastases; the existing evidence used to guide decision-making and its limitations; the range of diversity in practice patterns and the various demographic factors that influence clinical decisions; and the impact of expert reviews of published clinical evidence on practice regarding treatment options for brain metastases. Read a news release on the new guidelines for AANS.

PET Scan May Sooner Predict Chemotherapy Response in Low-Grade Glioma Patients
A recent study appearing in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, found that positron emission tomography (PET) scans of low-grade glioma tumors were able to measure amino acid transport deactivation – necessary for protein synthesis, an important step in tumor growth and an early indicator of chemotherapy response – earlier than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the study, metabolically active tumor volume was revealed at three months from the onset of temozolomide (marketed under the name Temodar) chemotherapy treatment with the PET scan, but not until six months after treatment with the MRI. The findings suggest that PET scans, which measure metabolically active tumor volume, may provide an earlier predictor of tumor treatment effectiveness than MRIs which measure tumor volume alone. Read a free summary of the research.

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Patient Care and Support  
 

 

 
 

Early and Long-Term Intervention Critical for Pediatric and Adult Medulloblastoma Survivors
Early intervention programs are critical for pediatric and adult medulloblastoma patients to limit the effects of the brain tumor and related treatment on long-term psychosocial functioning.  In the French study, “From childhood to adulthood: long-term outcome of medulloblastoma patients: The Institut Curie experience,” researchers assessed 42 patients, with a median follow-up time from diagnosis of 14.4 years.  In these patients, the most frequently reported problems pertained to vision, pain, cognition and emotion. A smaller percentage of the medulloblastoma survivors reported mobility problems (35 percent), dexterity and speech (20 percent), and hearing (3 percent).  Long-term follow-up is “essential” for medulloblastoma survivors, according to the study authors, as well as integrated and individualized care strategies. Read the article from the Journal of Neuro-oncology. Read more about medulloblastomas at the ABTA Web site.

A related study, released this month by the American Psychological Association (APA) and published in the journal Neuropsychology, also looks at the long-term cognitive and psychosocial effects of pediatric brain tumors. Read the full studyRead a news release on the research from APA.

November is National Family Caregivers Month
The National Family Caregivers Association has declared November 2009 National Family Caregivers Month. For more information, visit the NFCA Web site.  The American Brain Tumor Association also offers a variety of resources for caregivers at www.abta.org, The Orientation to Caregiving; A Handbook for Family Caregivers, and The Caregiver Corner.

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The ABTA E-News 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. Inclusion in the ABTA E-News is not a recommendation of any Web site, product, treatment, physician or hospital.

The American Brain Tumor Association funds brain tumor research, and offers services to patients and family members worldwide. Help us continue these services by supporting ABTA programs. A donation can be made at http://www.abta.org/index.cfm?contentid=54.  This information is provided by the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois, 60018.  We can be reached by e-mail at info@abta.org, or by phone at 800-886-2282.

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©2009 American Brain Tumor Association

 
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 Web sites or individual(s)/companies/institutions operating these websites.