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October 2010

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ABTA Chicago Marathon Team Raises $120,000
The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) Marathon Team raised nearly $120,000 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10, 2010. Read more about our runners and their first-rate fundraising efforts. 

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Updated ABTA Medulloblastoma Guide Now Available
Medulloblastoma , a rapidly growing tumor of the cerebellum (the lower rear portion of the brain), affects approximately 1,100 Americans, mostly children, each year. The ABTA’s newlyrevised Medulloblastoma guide provides a comprehensive overview of this tumor type, including diagnosis, treatment, side-effects and follow-up care. 
Download a free copy of the new Medulloblastoma brochure

Send Holiday Greetings While Supporting ABTA
The ABTA 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.

Interested in hosting an ABTA Event?
Call us at 1.800.886.1281

Save the Date:

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

Other Upcoming
October and November
ABTA Events:

Oct. 16, 2010
Laguna Beach, Calif.
2nd Annual Dive for Life

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

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

Oct. 31, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Running for Richard

Nov. 4, 2010
Charlotte, Vt.
Comedy on the Brain

Nov. 13, 2010
Stoneville, N.C.
The Melanie Dalton Fundraiser

Nov. 25 to Dec. 11, 2010
Throughout the U.S.
Run for Ian


ABTA  2011 Patient-Family Meetings:

ABTA-Sponsored Meetings

Jan. 25, 2011
Gibbs Regional Cancer Center
Spartanburg, S.C.

Spring 2011
Columbia St. Mary ‘s Cancer Center
Milwaukee, Wis.

Spring 2011
Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavillion
Savannah, Ga.

ABTA 10th Biennial
Patient-Family Retreat

July 29-30, 2011
Lincolnshire, Ill.

Watch for more information at

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Learn. Share. Support. Connect.
Join the hundreds of patients, family members and friends who are learning, supporting and sharing through ABTA's new social networking site, Connections. Learn more.

Follow ABTA:

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tab advocacy

Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act Passes U.S. House
In response to a call for action, ABTA supporters recently contacted their Congressional representatives and urged them to co-sponsor the Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act. The legislation, which was quickly passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law, allows brain tumor and other patients to participate in clinical trials without jeopardizing their Medicare or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Read more.

Health Care Reform at Six Months
Several important provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (health care reform) recently went into effect. As of Sept. 23, 2010, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, put lifetime limits on benefits, cancel a policy without proving fraud, and/or deny claims without a chance for appeal. In addition, patients now have the right to choose their own primary care doctor, obstetrician/gynecologist, and pediatrician; use the nearest emergency room without penalty; and receive cost-free preventative care services. Also, young adults can now remain on their parent’s health insurance policy until age 26. Look for the upcoming fall-winter issue of ABTA's Headlines for an article on health care reform and how it may specifically affect brain tumor patients. 
Read more about health care reform at the official Web site. 

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Ependymoma Survey Expands to Include Children and Parents
The Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN) Foundation is expanding their Ependymoma Outcomes Project survey of individuals living with ependymoma to include children and their parents. Participants will be anonymous and will provide information on their current health status and treatment history. Results will help CERN identify unique trends and new ways of improving care for ependymoma patients.
Read more about the Ependymoma Outcomes ProjectAccess the survey at the CERN Web site

Hospice vs. Hospital: Decision Affects Patient, Caregiver Life Quality
A new study of terminal cancer patients and their caregivers found that individuals who spent their final days in a hospital or intensive care setting reported worse quality of life compared to those at home with hospice services. In addition, the caregivers of cancer patients who died at home or in intensive care had a five-fold greater risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The results, according to the study authors, support the need for patients, caregivers and health care professionals to understand, discuss and make decisions well in advance of and in preparation for end-of-life care.
Read a summary of the findings from the American Society of Clinical OncologyRead a free abstract of the research in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

New Treatment Target May Boost Radiation, Surgery Success
Scientists have identified a new treatment target that may improve the success of surgery and radiation in halting or diminishing brain tumor growth.  New research, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, focuses on the role of the enzyme cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2), known to promote the development of blood vessel networks that feed malignant tumors and enable them to overcome the effects of radiation. In the study, tumors were virtually undetectable in mice genetically engineered to not produce cPLA2. As drugs to suppress or halt the production of cPLA2 already exist, the study authors are confident that such drugs could potentially halt cancer growth. 
Read a news release on the study from Washington University in St. Louis.

ADHD Medication May Ease Childhood Brain Tumor Survivor Symptoms
Medication widely used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may provide long-term relief from the concentration and behavioral changes that commonly affect pediatric brain tumor and cancer survivors, according to newly published research. In a year-long study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, one group of young brain tumor and acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivors – all of whom had undergone surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment targeting the central nervous system – received methylphenidate (marketed as Ritalin and Concerta). The other group did not receive medication. After one year, the children that received the methylphenidate scored better on tests of attention, social skills and behavior.
Read a news release on the study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Read a free summary of the research. 

Genetic Changes May Make Brain Tumors More Aggressive
Researchers believe they have discovered genetic changes that make glioblastoma (GBM) – the most common type of primary brain cancer – more aggressive than other brain tumors, and why GBMs don’t always respond to certain treatments. The research, appearing in the Oct. 1, 2010 issue of the journal Genes & Development, involved screening patients’ tumor samples for a glioblastoma subtype characterized by increased signaling form a protein called platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). Researchers were surprised to find that almost half of all glioblastomas with excess copies of the PDGFR gene also had rearrangements in the gene itself, creating proteins that are continually activated. The findings suggest that these particular tumors are dependent on a genetic signal, which could serve as a target for several drugs under development.
Read a news release on the research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterRead a free summary of the study.

Vaccine May Extend Survival for GBM Patients 
A vaccine added to standard therapy appears to extend survival for glioblastoma (GBM) patients with the EGFRvIII genetic variant. The vaccine knocks out EGFRvIII, which allows cancer cells to grow wildly out of control in the brain. The recent study, appearing in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, including 35 newly diagnosed GBM patients: 18 who received the vaccine, and 17 who did not. Adding the vaccine to standard therapy extended median survival time from 15 to 26 months and extended progression-free survival to 14.2 months compared to 6.3 months.
Read a news release on the research from Duke University Medical CenterRead a free summary of the research. 

AANSABTA/AANS/CNS Clinical Research Award
The American Brain Tumor Association, in partnership with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), recently announced the availability of a $100,000 two-year clinical research award. The application is open exclusively to neurosurgeons who are members of the AANS and CNS.
Read more.


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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©2010 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.