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August 2011

 Victoria Reggie Kennedy
Victoria Reggie Kennedy

Victoria Reggie Kennedy Shares Her Brain Tumor Journey with Patients, Families at ABTA Annual Meeting Dinner
Victoria Reggie Kennedy gave an emotional and inspiring recap of the 15-month journey she and her husband, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, shared as they battled and braved a brain tumor diagnosis together. Mrs. Kennedy spoke at the American Brain Tumor Association Annual Meeting Dinner, July 29, 2011, in Lincolnshire, IL. The dinner punctuated the 2011 Patient-Family Connections Meeting & Retreat, an extraordinary two-day event that brought together brain tumor experts, individuals living with a brain tumor diagnosis and their families, from throughout the United States, to hear the latest on brain tumor treatments and quality of life issues. The resort setting provided the perfect venue to relax, restore and connect with others sharing a similar diagnosis.

Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic

ABTA & Mayo Clinic Create Patient Program
The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) and Mayo Clinic are establishing a new patient program to provide educational support for patients coping with the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. Jan Buckner, MD, professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic, recently announced the
program at the American Brain Tumor Association Annual Meeting Dinner in Chicago. The program includes the appointment of a nurse educator to provide individual coaching and education to patients and their families. In addition, patient education materials, the ABTA website and electronic resources, and the ABTA patient support CareLine will be readily available to patients and families at the Stephen and Barbara Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center, on the main floor of the Gonda Building at Mayo Clinic. 

ABTA Seeks Novel Ideas That Push the Boundaries of Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment Approaches
Researchers now have an opportunity to receive grant funds for proof of concept studies and other explorations that push the boundaries of traditional brain tumor diagnostic or treatment approaches. The American Brain Tumor Association is now accepting letters of intent for its Discovery Grants. Concepts presented in Discovery Grant projects can involve any type of brain tumor, including primary, metastatic, adult and pediatric. One of four ABTA research funding programs, the Discovery Grant welcomes ideas originating in non-biology fields such as mathematics, physics, and biophysics. For grant details and LOI instructions, visit the ABTA Funding Opportunities page at the ABTA website. Grant questions can be directed to Alex Sierra, research project assistant, at


Contact ABTA for Newly Updated Brochures
The ABTA recently updated its Glioblastoma and Malignant Astrocytoma, Meningioma and Steroids brochures. For a copy of these and other publications, please contact ABTA at, or 800.866.ABTA (2282). 


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Join Us on Connections
Join the more than 300 individuals who have registered on the newly enhanced ABTA Connections Support Community. The new site links patients, families, friends, caregivers and healthcare professionals with each other, as well as to resources and wellness support. The online community was created because we all need a safe place to share health, to help each other, and because together we are better. The new site is offered in conjunction with Inspire.

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Mutations on Choromosomes 1 and 19 Key to Oligodendroglioma
Researchers have discovered the primary genetic mutations that lead to oligodendrogliomas, the second-most-common brain tumor type in adults. In a recent study, scientists were able to sequence the exomes, or protein-coding portions of DNA, in seven oligodendroglioma tumors, and found that two genes, CIC and FUBP1, were frequently mutated. Further research on 27 additional oligodendroglioma samples confirmed the findings. The discovery adds to the scientific understanding of the genes involved in the growth of this tumor. The research appeared online August 4 in Science.

GBM and Two Cancers Share Genetic Link
In a recent study, 20% of brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme), skin cancer (malignant melanoma), and bone cancer (Ewings sarcoma) samples were found to have no STAG2 protein, often due to a missing or mutated STAG2 gene. If the STAG2 gene has been inactivated by a mutation, cells undergoing division may distribute an uneven number of chromosomes, and thus be more likely to develop into cancer, according to the research appearing in Science. The STAG2 gene actually may function as a caretaker tumor suppressor gene, maintaining normal chromosome number and structure. The study authors say the next step is to identify a drug that specifically targets cancer cells with STAG2 mutations.

Researchers Identify Possible Meningioma Gene
Swedish researchers have identified a gene variant, related to the MLLT10 on chromosome 10 associated with hematologic (blood) tumors, that may increase the likelihood that a person will develop a meningioma brain tumor. The discovery enhances the understanding of the genetic basis of meningiomas, which will ultimately help in identifying those at higher risk of developing a tumor. The research appears in Nature Genetics.

Insomnia, Fatigue Common in Cancer Patients
More than half of cancer patients may suffer symptoms of insomnia during their treatment, according to new research appearing in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study involved nearly 1,000 cancer patients interviewed just prior to surgery, and again at two, six, 10, 14 and 18 months following surgery. Nearly 60% of patients reported insomnia during the initial interview, and many, especially those reporting insomnia prior to their cancer diagnosis, were most likely to have ongoing difficulty with sleep. The study authors recommend early intervention strategies, such as cognitive-behavior therapy, to prevent the problem from becoming more severe and chronic.

New Study Links Birth Defects to Some Childhood Brain Tumors
A new study found that children born with birth defects to mothers with a history of multiple miscarriages may have a higher-than-normal risk of developing a brain tumor. While the risks remain small (each year, only 4,000 U.S. children and teenagers are diagnosed with a tumor in the brain or spinal cord), researchers found that 1.2 percent of 3,733 California children diagnosed with a brain tumor had been born with a birth defect, compared to .6 percent of 15,000 cancer-free children. The study appeared in Pediatrics.

tab clinical trials

Find a Clinical Trial Through TrialConnect™
When you receive a brain tumor diagnosis, you want and deserve to know about all available treatment options. To help you in this search, the American Brain Tumor Association has partnered with EmergingMed to offer a free, confidential, personalized service that matches your brain tumor type and treatment history with an appropriate clinical trial. TrialConnect™ is offered in English and Spanish.  


Headquartered in Chicago, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing compassionate outreach to patients and caregivers coping with a brain tumor diagnosis. For nearly 40 years, the association has funded researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. Through its dedicated team of licensed healthcare professionals, the ABTA provides trusted resources for patients, families, and medical professionals. The American Brain Tumor Association is a federally registered 501(c)3 charity that consistently earns high marks from the nation’s charity ranking organizations. Make a donation to the American Brain Tumor Association.

This information is provided by the American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 550, Chicago, Illinois, 60631.

For more information on the American Brain Tumor Association, call toll-free: 1.800.886.ABTA (2282), write, or visit:

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©2011 American Brain Tumor Association

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Sept. 3, 2011
Coeburn, VA
14th Annual Justin's Walk

Sept. 4, 2011
Strathmere, NJ
Surf for a Cure

Sept. 10, 2011
Sant Louis, MO
14th Annual St. Louis Fall Festival


Sept. 10, 2011
Waltham, MA
JB5K Blastoff

Sept. 24, 2011
Peoria, IL
9th Annual Mark Linder Walk for the Mind

Sept. 24, 2011
Wheeling, IL
14th Annual Paul Fabbri Golf Outing

Oct. 1, 2011
Shelby Township, MI
3rd Annual Goah
Noah Bicycle Ride & Space Walk

Oct. 2, 2011
Rocky River, OH
Eldon Blake Memorial Walk/Run

Oct. 2, 2011
Philadelphia, PA
5th Annual Amy's Walk


Oct. 9, 2011
Chicago, IL
Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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