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April 2010

Team Phenomenon
Run. Walk. Volunteer. Support.
Register today for ABTA’s annual Path to Progress 5K Run/Walk, Saturday, May 22nd, at Chicago's Soldier Field. This year’s event includes a 1 Mile Strut option open to any participants. Learn more.

Join the ABTA Chicago Marathon Team
While registration for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has officially closed, there are still a few remaining spots on the ABTA team. Learn more.

Save the Date
ABTA Upcoming Events:

April 15-30, 2010
Tara’s Silent Auction

April 17, 2010
Madison, Wis.
The Steve Bolser Memorial Joggin for the Noggin 5K

April 18, 2010
Columbus, Ohio
9th Annual Kevin Mullin Memorial 5K Run/Walk   

April 24, 2010
Franklin, Mass.
10th Annual Chad Dunbar Bowling Tournament

May 1, 2010
Charlotte, N.C.
2nd Annual Natalie Yokeley BBQ Dinner and Silent Auction

May 1, 2010
White Rock, N.M.
Grey Matters Run for Research

May 8, 2010
Milwaukee, Wis.
3rd Annual Strain for the Brain 5K Walk

May 8, 2010
Vernon Hills, Ill.

12th Annual Vernon Hills Walk

May 8, 2010
Ypsilanti, Mich.
7th Annual Glio-Blastoff 5K

May 15, 2010
Carmel, Ind.
6th Annual Head for a Cure

May 22, 2010
Spokane, Wash.
2nd Annual Joggin for the Noggin

Tumor/Treatment-Related Memory and Personality Changes
Have you or a family member experienced memory or personality changes related to the diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumor? The ABTA Web site offers tips on improving memory, as well as  information on how to locate a neuropsychologist - a psychologist with specialized training in the relationship between the brain, thinking, and behavior. Learn more.

For additional information and support, please contact the Patient Services Team at 800.886.2282, or send us an e-mail at

Join Us on Facebook
Join the more than 20,000 individuals (and quickly growing!) who regularly follow the American Brain Tumor Association on Facebook. Check out ABTA’s Cause, Group and Fan pages. Learn more.


Palliative Care CoverABTA Offers New Palliative Care Guide
The new patient and family guide, "Palliative Care," is now available from ABTA. Palliative Care explains the broad range of available services that provide comfort, care and support to patients and families facing serious illness. The guide also explains what palliative care is, the difference between palliative care and hospice care, and how palliative care can minimize and help you manage many of the challenges associated with a brain tumor diagnosis. For a free copy, please contact the Patient Services Team at 800.886.2282, e-mail, or read the Palliative Care guide online. (Read more about palliative care under "Care & Support" below).

Elizabeth and Anne
Anne Feeley (left) with ABTA Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson
Brains on Bikes Kicks-Off in San Francisco
ABTA Executive Director Elizabeth Wilson and the ABTA Pegusus/Kovarus Cycling Team recently joined glioblastoma survivor Anne Feeley as she embarked on a cross-country journey to raise awareness of and funding for brain tumor research and patient support. The April 9 event was on the University of California, San Francisco campus. Feeley will ride cross country until she reaches Washington D.C. in July. Visit the Brains on Bikes Web site

Proposals Sought for ONS Foundation/ABTA Neuro-Oncology Nursing Grant
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation is seeking proposals for the ONS Foundation/American Brain Tumor Association Neuro-Oncology Nursing Research Grant. The award (up to $10,000) supports research exploring the effects of brain tumors on patients and their families, specifically: symptom management, treatment effects, outcomes research, and the impact of the diagnosis of a brain tumor on the family.Letters of intent are due June 1, 2010, and applications, June 30th. Read more.

Interested in hosting an ABTA Event?
Call us at 1.800.886.1281


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Patient Care and Support  

Couple and doctorMost U.S. Cancer Centers Offer Palliative Care; Scope and Service Integration Varies
A new study appearing in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that nearly all National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported/designated cancer centers (98 percent) offer a palliative care program, compared to 78 percent of non-NCI cancer centers. Ninety-two percent of NCI-cancer care centers had a palliative care physician on staff and an inpatient palliative care consultation team. However, only 59 percent of NCI cancer care centers offered an outpatient palliative care clinic; 37 percent, in-house hospice care; and 23 percent, dedicated palliative care beds. Research programs, palliative care fellowships and mandatory rotations for oncology fellows were uncommon. Cancer care center executives were supportive of stronger integration and increased palliative care resources.  Read a free summary of the studyRead ABTA’s new Palliative Care guide.  
Study Documents Racial Disparities in Brain Tumor Access, Care
African American and Hispanic patients are less likely than white patients to have access to high-quality surgical care for brain tumors, according to a study appearing in the March issue of the Archives of Surgery. In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 76,000 patients who underwent a craniotomy – a surgical procedure to biopsy or remove a brain tumor – between 1988 and 2005. Details about the patient’s socioeconomic background and environment were obtained from a separate database and linked to discharge information.  Overall, 33 percent of the patients were admitted to high-volume hospitals – those conducting more than 50 procedures each year; a proven milestone associated with improved outcomes.  While African Americans and Hispanics had similar or slightly higher odds for admission to high-volume hospitals during the 1980s and 1990s, these numbers declined significantly in the following years to the point that between 2001 and 2005, African Americans and Hispanics were “significantly less likely to be admitted to high-volume hospitals,” and thus at risk for less optimal care.  Access was better in counties or regions with more neurosurgeons and/or a higher median household income. Read a free summary of the studyRead a news release on the study.

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 Pretty Pictures

tab research news  

Cancer Drug PD-0332991 May Successfully Treat Glioblastoma
The new drug PD-0332991, already in clinical trials to treat a variety of cancers, shows “a remarkable ability to shut down the growth of glioblastoma cells” in both laboratory cells and animals, according to a new study appearing in the April 15th issue of the journal Cancer Research. Researchers implanted three different types of  human glioblastoma (GBM) cells directly into the brains of mice, and then treated them with PD-0332991. The brain tumor cells did not grow while the mice  received PD-0332991, although the mice quickly died once the treatment stopped. The researchers then combined the new drug with radiation and found that the outcomes were superior to use of PD-0332991 alone. Treatment was also successfully administered along with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide. Given existing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, about 90 percent of GBM patients have a molecular profile that would make them candidates for the drug. Read a news release on the study from Georgetown University Medical Center.

Scientists Discover “Go or Grow” Switch for Brain Tumors
Brain tumors must adjust to periods of low energy or die. According to a new study published in the journal Molecular Cell, researchers believe they have identified a molecule – called miR-451 – responsible for helping brain tumor cells to adapt to energy loss by slowing cell proliferation and increasing cell migration, behavior closely linked with a cancer’s ability to invade and spread. For this reason, scientists believe the molecule may serve as a biomarker to predict how long patients will survive with glioblastoma, and as a target for new drugs to fight GBM tumors. Read a news release on the research from The Ohio State University Medical CenterRead a free summary of the research.

Blood Vessels Linked with Craniopharyngioma Recurrence
A new study appearing in the April journal Neurosurgery found a relationship between recurring craniopharyngiomas – benign tumors arising from cells located near the pituitary stalk – and angiogenesis, the formation and development of blood vessels. In reviewing samples from four patients with recurrent craniopharyngiomas, and six from patients with non-recurring tumors, researchers found a “significantly higher”  expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR-A) and fibronectin, fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) in patients with recurring tumors. New treatments with selective PDGFR-A blockers may provide an effective and novel approach to treating crniopharyngiomas. Read a free summary of the research. 

New Research on Rare Brain Tumor Types:
PET/3.0 MRI Highly Effective in Diagnosing Cushing Adenoma
In approximately 70 percent of patients, Cushing disease – which left untreated can cause a host of health problems and even death – is caused by a pituitary adenoma, a relatively rare brain tumor that is most often benign. A new study in the April Journal of Neurosurgery tested the accuracy of three types of imaging devices in identifying and delineating micro (very small) adenomas. A type of imaging called methionine positron emission tomography (PET)/3.0 tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was 100 percent effective in detecting the localization of Cushing disease, according to the study, compared to 73 percent for fluorodexyglucose (FDA)-PET/3.0-T MR images, and 40 percent for superconductive MRIs. Read a free summary of the research.  Read more about pituitary tumors from ABTA .

Hearing Preserved in Half of Vestibular Schwannoma Patients 3 to 4 Years Following Surgery
Researchers reviewing existing data and literature on patient hearing status following radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma found that a preservation rate of 51 percent can be expected 3 to 4 years after Gamma Knife treatment. Patients treated with lower levels of radiation (on average ≤ 13-Gy) were more likely to have preserved hearing than those receiving higher doses, according to the study appearing in the April Journal of Neurosurgery. Older patients and patients with larger tumors did not appear to be at increased risk for hearing loss following Gamma Knife surgery. Read a free summary of the research.

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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

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, or by phone at 800-886-2282.

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