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September 2010



Read the New ABTA Brain Tumor Primer
The American Brain Tumor Association recently released the 9th Edition Brain Tumor Primer: A Comprehensive Introduction to Brain Tumors. The Primer provides a detailed overview of the brain, brain tumor types, potential brain tumor causes, diagnostic procedures, treatment and care. It is designed to help patients and their families feel comfortable while making informed treatment and care decisions. 
Read the new Primer.

Darcy and Saralee
Darcy and Saralie

Meet Darcy Bretz of ABTA's Marathon Team
Darcy Bretz plans to run in this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon as part of the ABTA Path to Progress Team. She's running for herself, and in memory of her sister, Saralie. Both sisters were diagnosed with brain tumors. Saralie, who passed away 2 years ago from a glioblastoma, could light up a room and was quick to make friends. Saralie's parents now raise her son who is an everyday reminder of what a special person she was. Darcy has a meningioma that has left her blind in her right eye, and a bit off balance at times, but she says: “My life vision has never been more clear. I have two amazing sons, and I want to show them that anything can be done with perseverance and the right attitude.” 
Support Darcy Bretz's Chicago Marathon quest Read more about the ABTA Marathon Team.

2011 ABTA Holiday Cards

Send Holiday Greetings While Supporting ABTA
The American Brain Tumor Association is again offering holiday greetings cards - in a variety of styles - to support patient programs and research. Personalized imprinting is available on both cards and envelopes, and each card recognizes a donation to ABTA. Read more about the 2010 ABTA Holiday Cards.

ABTA Accepting Letters of Intent for 2011 Discovery Grant Program
The American Brain Tumor Association is seeking Letters of Intent for its 2011 Discovery Grant program. The Discovery Program offers one-year grants, not to exceed $50,000, for high-risk, high-impact projects that have the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment paradigms for adult or pediatric brain tumors. Read more about the 2011 ABTA Discovery Grant Program.

Interested in hosting an ABTA Event?
Call us at 1.800.886.1281

Fall Festival

Save the Date:
Sept. 11, 2010
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis Fall Festival

Other Upcoming September-
October ABTA Events:

Sept. 11, 2010
Vancouver, Wash.
Cruisin for a Cure

Sept. 11, 2010
Bayonne, N.J.
7th Annual Walk for Elvira

Sept. 11, 2010
Fargo, N.D.
2nd Annual Pray for Gray Silent Auction and Dinner

Sept. 12, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Friends Helping Friends

Sept. 12-25, 2010
Virtual Fundraiser on Second Life

Wear Gray for a Day

Sept. 18, 2010
Waltham, Mass.
Glio-Blastoff 5K Road Race & Walk

Sept. 18. 2010
Asbury Park, N.J.
Flo’s Chili Cook-off Competition

Sept. 18, 2010
Torrington, Conn.
Rolling for Research Bowling Tournament 

Sept. 18, 2010
Grayslake, Ill.
13th Annual Paul Fabbri Golf Outing

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

Sept. 25, 2010
Peoria, Ill.
8th Annual Mark Linder Walk for the Mind 

Sept. 26, 2010
Rocky River, Ohio

Eldon Blake Memorial

Sept. 26, 2010
Philadelphia, Pa.
4th Annual Amy's Walk

Oct. 2, 2010
Shelby, Mich.

Oct. 3 to Dec. 11, 2010
Throughout the U.S.
Run for Ian

Oct. 8, 2010
Concord, N.C.
2nd Annual Phillips/Groves Memorial Golf Tournament

Oct. 10, 2010
Chicago, Ill.
Chicago Marathon

Oct. 10, 2010
Portland, Oregon
Portland Marathon

Oct. 17, 2010
Palatine, Ill.
2nd Annual Bill Heller Memorial 5K Run/Walk

Oct. 23, 2010
Austin, Texas
4th Annual Greens for Gardner Memorial Golf Tournament

Oct. 31, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Marine Corp Marathon

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tab advocacy

Act Now! Support the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act 
The Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act - H.R. 2866 - would change current Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) guidelines so that clinical trial participants can receive up to $2,000 in compensation without affecting SSI eligibility. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), of which ABTA is a member, clinical trial compensation is considered income under current SSI rules. Unfortunately, this deters brain tumor and other rare disease patients from participating in critical clinical trials. Check to see if your Congressional representative is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2866, and if not, send him or her a letter telling them why the legislation is important to you and the entire brain tumor community. Visit ABTA's Act Now! Web page. Sign-up to receive important advocacy alerts from ABTA.

tab research news

Ancient Remedy May Ease Side-Effects of Chemotherapy
Researchers have developed a new medication, based on an 1,800-year-old Chinese herbal recipe containing a combination of four plants called Huang Qin Tang, to ease the adverse effects of chemotherapy. The medicine, called PHY906, is specifically designed to relieve the side effects of the chemotherapy drug CPT-11 (Irinotecan), used to treat brain tumors and other cancers. In laboratory tests, mice undergoing chemotherapy showed less weight loss and more "anti-tumor" activity after receiving PHY906, when compared to the mice that did not receive the medication. Researchers said PHY906 did not alter the chemotherapy drug's effectiveness. Read a news release on the treatment from the Yale Cancer Center. 

New Research Launches Multi-Center Study on Adult Ependymomas
Ependymomas in adults are rare and often initially misdiagnosed. A new study, appearing in the August issue of the journal Neuro-Oncology, reports on 123 adult ependymoma patients at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. There were a nearly equal number of men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 72. Forty patients had tumors in the brain, 80 in the spine, and three had both. The majority were Grade I/II tumors (108); there were just 15 Grade III tumors. Eighteen of the tumors were initially misdiagnosed. The
results of the report will be used as the basis for a multi-center study to further examine adult ependymoma diagnosis, care and treatment. Read a free summary of the study

Double Treatment May Inhibit Brain Tumor Recurrence
Researchers recently combined chemotherapy with a targeted Notch inhibitor to effectively decrease the recurrence of glioblastoma in laboratory mice. The study, appearing in the September issue of the journal Cancer Research, combined temozolomide, proven to help glioblastoma patients to live longer, with a Notch inhibitor (the Notch signaling pathway is overexpressed in glioblastoma tumors). The combination "much more effectively reduced tumor growth and recurrence," according to the study authors. Read a news release on the research from the American Association for Cancer Research. Read a free summary of the study.

Palliative Care Extends Life
Patients who receive palliative care - a "whole person" approach to care that focuses on helping patients achieve the best possible quality of life while living with a serious illness -are happier, more mobile and in less pain, according to a new study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, the lung cancer patients who participated in the study lived longer. Researchers believe the results offer "great promise for alleviating distress in patients with metastatic disease, and addressing critical concerns regarding the use of health care services at the end of life." Read the full article. Read ABTA's Palliative Care guide.

Psilocybin May Ease Anxiety in Late-Stage Cancer Patients
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in the hallucinogenic drug "magic mushrooms," may boost mood and ease anxiety in late-state cancer patients, according to new research appearing in online edition of the September 2010 Archives of Psychiatry. In the study, 12 patients with advanced-stage cancer, all experiencing severe anxiety, received a single "moderate" dose of psilocybin. Significant reductions in anxiety were documented at one and three months after treatment, and for as long as six months, with no adverse side effects. The study authors say more research is needed to definitely assess the effectiveness of psilocybin, which is not available in the U.S., for cancer care. Read a free summary of the research from the Archives of General Psychiatry. Read a news article on the study.

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.

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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.