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July 2010

Humor to Fight the Tumor 2010

Save the Date:

Sept. 18. 2010
Minneapolis, Minn.
7th Annual Humor to Fight the Tumor

ABTA July-August Events:

Through July 31, 2010
Illinois to Alaska

Howard's Motorcycle Ride to Alaska

July 16, 2010
Columbia Station, Ohio
5th Annual Teeing Up for Others

July 17, 2010
Lebanon, Pa.
Sevey One Sevey Showdown

July 17, 2010
Grafton, Wis.

July 24, 2010
Macomb, Mich
13th Annual Paul Brazen Golf Outing

July 25, 2010
Leesport, Pa.
2nd Annual Following the Footsteps

July 30-August 15, 2010
Chicago to Colorado
Bike 2 the Pike

Aug. 6, 2010
Chalfont, Pa.
JAG Golf Classic

Aug. 7, 2010
Chalfont, Pa.
JAG Tube Float

Aug. 7, 2010
Chicago, Ill.
5th Annual Kessler Cruise for a Cure 

Aug. 8, 2010
Chicago, Ill.
7th Annual Cubs “Rooftop Party”

Aug. 8, 2010
Plainfield, Ill.
Wheels for a Cause

Aug. 8, 2010
Fire Island, N.Y.
4th Annual Fire Island 5K

Aug. 15, 2010
Allentown, Pa.
Steps Towards a Cure

Aug. 21, 2010
Joliet, Ill.
Joliet Walk

Aug. 21, 2010
Vernon Hills, Ill.
11th Annual Vernon Hills Golf Outing

Aug. 28, 2010
Smyrna, Delaware to Deposit, Md.
Friends Ride 2 Help


Learn. Support. Share. Connect.
Join the hundreds of patients, family members and friends who are learning, supporting and sharing through ABTA's new social networking site, Connections.
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Brain Tumor Dictionary 2010Revised Brain Tumor Dictionary Now Available
The newly revised and expanded ABTA Brain Tumor Dictionary,  featuring more than 1,000 brain tumor words and terms explained in easy to understand language, is now available. Request a complimentary copy

Quick Reader Survey: Help Us to Better Help You!
The American Brain Tumor Association is continually striving to provide patients and families with the most up-to-date, comprehensive information on various brain tumor-related topics. Your response to a quick survey will help us address topics and issues – in future Web site and ABTA publications – based on reader interests and needs. Take the survey.

Applicants Sought for International Outreach Research Fellowship
The Society for NeuroOncology (SNO), with financial support from the American Brain Tumor Association and EMD Serono, is seeking applicants living outside of North America for a one-year fellowship. The most qualified candidate will conduct pediatric or adult neuro-oncology research in a clinical and/or laboratory setting in the U.S. or Canada. Learn more.

Interested in hosting an ABTA Event?
Call us at 1.800.886.1281

Patient Care and Support

Study: Cancer Diagnosis Often Delivered Over Phone or in Public Setting
A new study found that 18 percent of cancer patients received their cancer diagnosis over the phone, and 28 percent in various hospital locations often with little privacy. Only 54 percent of the 437 patients participating in a recent National Cancer Institute (NCI) study said they learned of their cancer diagnosis in a doctor’s office, nearly half reported their diagnosis discussion lasting 10 minutes or less, and one-third said treatment options were not reviewed. However, nearly 80 percent of patients reported a “greater than neutral level of trust” in their doctors. Read a free summary of the study in the July 6 Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read a news story on the study
New Guidelines Urge Exercise for Cancer Patients, Survivors
There are 12 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today thanks to early detection and improved treatments. And while historically clinicians have advised patients to rest and avoid activity during treatment, new guidelines from a panel of cancer and fitness experts recommend exercise both during and after treatment. The panel, convened by the American College of Sports Medicine, issued specific exercise guidelines for people with different cancer types based on possible common adverse effects of treatment. Read an article on the new guidelines from The National Cancer Institute (NCI). Read a free summary of the guidelines in the July 2010 journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  

Report: “Substantial” Improvement in Survival Rates for Children with Brain Tumors
A new report published in Journal of Clinical Oncology shows 5-year childhood brain tumor survival rates increasing to 70 percent for all age groups. Specifically, children and adolescents with non-medulloblastoma brain tumors showed “modest” improvement in outcome between 1975-1978 and 1999-2002. Younger children, ages 0 to 4, showed the largest improvement in 5-year survival – from 53.1 percent in 1975-1978 to 73.1 percent in the most recent reporting period. Outcomes for patients with medulloblastoma improved between 1975 and 2006 with 5-year survival rates increasing from less than 50 percent in the 1970s to 73 percent for the 1999-2002 time period. The report authors recommend “new treatment paradigms building on an increased understanding of the molecular processes that promote growth and survival of specific childhood cancers” to ensure continued survival rate improvement. Read a free summary of the report, “Outcomes for Children and Adolescents With Cancer: Challenges for the Twenty-First Century.”

New Bill Would Require Cell Phone Research, Warning Labels
U.S. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently announced plans to introduce legislation that would create a new national research program to study cell phones and health, require an update of the decades-old Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits (a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone), and require warning labels on cell phones. Read more.

Other recent news related to the debate over cell phones:

Read the latest on cell phones and brain tumors at the ABTA Web site. 

Artwork Sought for Expressions of Hope Calendar
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is accepting artwork submissions for its 2010-2011 “Expressions of Hope” calendar. Artwork and an official entry form are due Aug. 16, 2010. Learn more.

New Web Site Helps Consumers Navigate Changing Health System
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently unveiled a new Web site - - designed to “help consumers take control of their health care” by connecting them with information and resources “that will help them access quality, affordable health care coverage.” In addition, HHS recently released a new Patients Bill of Rights.

Pretty Pictures

Treatment Tab

Grape Juice Before Meals May Decrease Nausea, Vomiting in Chemotherapy Patients
A small study found that patients who consumed 4 ounces of grape juice prior to eating meals for one week following each of four chemotherapy treatment cycles, reported less frequent and less intense nausea and vomiting. The study authors of “Effect of Concord Grape Juice on Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting: Results of a Pilot Study,” recommend additional studies to confirm findings. Read a free summary of the study in the journal Oncology Nursing Forum.

Tomato Plant Extract Shows Promising Results for Treating GBMs
In a new study, researchers successfully cloned a novel thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) enzyme from a tomato plant, and utilized this enzyme to make GBM cells up to 500 times more sensitive to the drug zidovudine (AZT), known to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. The TK1-AZT combination suicide gene therapy system may provide a new and successful treatment for malignant gliomas. Read a free summary of the study in the journal Neuro-Oncology.

Less Radiation May Limit Hormone Deficiencies in Pituitary Adenoma Patients  
According to recent studies, hormonal insufficiencies following pituitary adenoma radiosurgery range from 7 to 41 percent. New research appearing in the July issue of the journal Neurosurgery, links the amount of radiation patients receive as treatment for pituitary adenomas with diminished pituitary function. The study authors observed that while stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) have similar success rates, patients in this study who received SRS were less likely to develop pituitary endocrine problems. Read a free summary of the research.

Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiation May Be Therapy Effective Treatment for Recurrent GBMs
Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiation – radiation delivered over two weeks instead of the standard three to four week regimen – was well tolerated and resulted in an 11-month median survival rate, comparable to the best reported results, to date, for bevacizumab (also known as “Avastin”) treatment in recurring high-grade gliomas. The study authors believe the results could support the use of H-SRT as standard salvage therapy for previously treated high-grade gliomas.  Read a free summary of the research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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.