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February 2011

tab research news

ABTA Highlighted in The Scientist as "Out-of-the-Box" Research Funder
The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) is featured, along with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense, as an "Alternative High-Risk" funder of innovative medical research in the January/February 2011 issue of The Scientist. "Rewards of Risk: Secrets to scoring big money grants for innovative, out-of-the-box research," assesses the challenges and opportunities associated with conducting and funding
unconventional, yet potentially groundbreaking, research. The article quotes Nathalie Y.R. Agar, Ph.D., a member of ABTA's Discovery Grant Review Panel and a 2005 ABTA Fellow. Read the full article.

Allergies May Prevent Brain Tumors
A new ABTA-supported study found that individuals diagnosed with low-and high-grade gliomas were "statistically significantly" less likely to report any allergies. The authors of the study, "Assessment of Type of Allergy and Antihistamine Use in the Development of Glioma," also discovered that the more allergies a person has, the less likely he or she is to develop a glioma, the most common type of brain tumor. Antihistamine use did not appear to increase glioma risk.
Read a free summary of the study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Read a news article on the research.

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ABTA Seeks Applicants for Medical Student Summer Fellowship Program
The ABTA is now accepting applications for the 2011 Medical Student Summer Fellowship Program. The intent of the program is to motivate talented medical students to pursue a career in neuro-oncology research. The ABTA Medical Student Summer Fellowships are $3,000 grants awarded to qualified medical students who wish to spend a summer conducting brain tumor research. The fellowships, conducted in a neuro-oncology laboratory with a mentor, are designed to provide an introductory learning experience. The fellowship start date is determined by the mentor and should extend 10-12 weeks over the summer. The application deadline is March 14, 2011. Read more.

Seeking Better Treatments for Brain Tumors in Children
A new article in the NCI Bulletin summarizes three new studies that provide groundbreaking insights into the genetic and cellular origins of medulloblastoma. The article, "Seeking Better Treatments for Brain Tumors in Children," quotes ABTA Scientific Advisory Board Member Michael Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., and ABTA Discovery Grant Reviewer Donald (Will) Parsons, M.D., Ph.D. According to the article, the new research may "redefine" how this particular type of brain tumor, found primarily in children, is diagnosed and treated. Read the full article "Seeking Better Treatments for Brain Tumors in Children." Read ABTA's Medulloblastoma brochure

Higher Radiosurgery Dosage for Pituitary Brain Tumors Linked to Faster Return of Endocrine Function
Patients with pituitary adenoma tumors who received a higher dosage of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) resumed hormone function faster and were less likely to experience tumor regrowth, than patients who ended treatment with a greater amount of remaining tumor. In the study, "Gamma Knife surgery for pituitary adenomas: factors related to radiological and endocrine outcomes," researchers studied the results (conducted at a median of 31 months after treatment) of 418 patients who underwent GKS. The median time to endocrine remission was 48.9 months, however, patients who had a greater GKS dosage resumed endocrine remission faster. Ninety percent of patients achieved tumor control at follow-up. Patients who received pituitary hormone suppressive medication at the time of GKS, a prior craniotomy, and who had a larger tumor volume at the time of radiosurgery were more likely to experience a new onset of hormone deficiency. Read a free summary of the research in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Unexpected Flexibility of Brain Tumor Cells May Impair Treatment
Glioblastoma brain tumor cells may be able to morph into blood vessels to ensure a continued supply of nutrients. The research, appearing in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and co-authored by ABTA Scientific Advisory Council member Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., may explain why cancer treatments that target angiogenesis, the growth of a network of blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen to cancerous tissue, routinely fail in the treatment of glioblastoma. The findings may spur the development of novel, tailor-made treatment combinations to successfully thwart tumor growth. Read a news release on the research from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Read a free summary of the research.

tab events
Running Team logo

The ABTA Running Team: Off to a Winning Start!
Members of the new ABTA Running Team are already on the move as they train for upcoming events throughout the country. Running Team members support ABTA by participating in a race, location and distance of their choice. To date, 15 runners have joined the team with plans to run in California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Washington. Special congratulations to team "EY for Mike Baldasaro," which has raised nearly $6,000, to date, for ABTA. The team honors the memory of their former Ernst and Young colleague Mike Baldasaro. EY for Mike Baldasaro will run in the Long Branch Half Marathon in Long Branch, N.J. on May 1, 2011. Learn more Team "EY" and the ABTA Running Team at:

P2P group

New Incentives for Path to Progress Participants
Join the 71 teams and more than 300 individuals who have already registered to run, walk or strut in the Path to Progress at Chicago's Soldier Field on May 14, 2011. This year, ABTA is offering an array of incentives for team and individual fundraisers: a water bottle for participants who raise $250; a drawstring backpack for $500; and a visor and blanket for $1,000. Learn more at

Interested in hosting a fundraising event or getting involved with ABTA?
E-mail, or click here for a downloadable Volunteer Activity Form.

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Save the Date

2011 Patient-Family Meetings:

Feb. 12, 2011
Savannah, Ga.
Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavillion

April 9, 2011
Milwaukee, Wis.
Columbia St. Mary ‘s Cancer Center

Marriott Lincolnshire

July 29-30, 2011
Lincolnshire, Ill.
ABTA 10th Biennial
Patient-Family Meeting

Having Fun Raising Funds:

Feb. 26, 2011
Swedesboro, N.J.
6th Annual Sharing Hope Dinner Dance

Feb. 26, 2011
Stillwater, Minn.
Judith A. Schmitt
Grey-Tie Affair

April 10, 2011
Columbus, Ohio
10th Annual Kevin Mullen Memorial 5K Run/Walk

April 30, 2011
Woonsocket, R.I.
The 11th Annual
Chad Dunbar

May 7, 2011
Ypsilanti, Mich.
8th Annual
5K Run/Walk

P2P 09

May 14, 2011
Soldier Field
Chicago, Ill.
Path to Progress
5K Run/Walk

June 25, 2011
Seattle, Wash.
Seattle Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon

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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.












tab patient care

Women Childhood Cancer Survivors May Benefit from Breastfeeding
Women who have survived childhood cancer should breastfeed, if possible, to offset some of the negative effects of cancer treatment, according to a new study. "Protective effects of breastfeeding for mothers surviving childhood cancer," found that breastfeeding had the potential to positively influence bone mineral density, metabolic syndrome risk factors, cardiovascular disease and secondary tumors - all conditions negatively affected by childhood cancer and related treatments. The study authors recommend that women childhood cancer survivors should be actively encouraged to breastfeed. Read a free summary of the research in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. Read a news release on the research.

Standard Language, Guidance May Empower Patients Living with Cancer as a Chronic Illness
Today, as more and more cancer patients are living longer, there is a greater need for ongoing, self-managed care - from handling treatment schedules and side effects, to managing related emotional challenges for both for patients and their families. A new study, "Self-Management: Enabling and Empowering Patients Living with Cancer as a Chronic Illness," found that a lack of common language - across health care professions and disciplines, that is understandable by patients and families - may prevent patients from optimally managing their own long-term care. The study authors also stated that standard patient self-management procedures, based on a patient's ability and interest to manage their own care, are needed to enhance and build strong relationships between patients and oncology practices, and ultimately, to empower patients to care for themselves. Read the full study appearing in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians

Cancer Costs Expected to Reach $158 Billion by 2020
A new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) projects a 27 percent increase in the cost of cancer care over the next 10 years. If newly developed tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care continue to become more expensive, medical expenditures for cancer could reach as high as $207 billion, according to the analysis appearing online in the Jan. 12, 2011 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The expected rising cost of cancer care illustrates the importance and critical need for advancing the science of cancer prevention and treatment. Read a news release on the analysis from NIH.

tab clinical trials

Enrollment Resuming in Brain Tumor Vaccine Clinical Trial
Northwest Biotherapeutics recently announced that they will soon resume enrollment of additional new patients in the 240-patient Phase II clinical trial of DCVax for glioblastoma. The vaccine is a personalized therapy made from a fresh set of a patient's individual immune cells along with tumor biomarkers. Read a news release on the clinical trial from Northwest Biotherapeutics. Read more about the clinical trial at

Enrollment Continues for Phase II Meningioma Trial
Enrollment continues for intermediate and high-risk meningioma patients for a Phase II clinical trial that looks at the effects of specialized radiation therapy, which delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the tumor site (such as 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy). The trial seeks to determine whether radiation is better than observation in treating patients with meningioma. Read an overview of the trial from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (ROTG). Read more about the research at

Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) was the first
non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to brain tumors. Today, ABTA provides critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, and is the recognized resource for comprehensive information and compassionate support for brain tumor patients and their families. Make a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association.

This information is provided by the American Brain Tumor Association, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois, 60018.

For more information on ABTA, call toll-free: 1-800-886-atba, write, or visit:

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©2011 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.