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November 2011

 ONS Foundation Award 2011
Claudette Yasell, Margaret Hansen Frogge
& Ronald Petrocelli, MD

ABTA Honored with Friend of the Foundation Award
On October 24, the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation honored the American Brain Tumor Association with the 2011 Ellyn Bushkin Friend of the Foundation Award. Craig J. Byrum and Margaret Hansen Frogge, RN, MS, of the ONS Foundation were on hand to present the Award to the ABTA President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Wilson, ABTA Board Chair Claudette Yasell and ABTA Board Vice-Chair Ronald Petrocelli, MD.

“The American Brain Tumor Association has given over $80,000 that supported ten small research grants for quality of life research, symptom management, survivor issues, all of which are very critical to neuro-oncology nursing,” noted Frogge. “The Oncology Nursing Society is extremely grateful for the past and ongoing support of the ABTA.” 

"Two of the researchers that were funded by the American Brain Tumor Association grants went on to receive external grants totaling over $3 million dollars," added Wilson. "We are thrilled that our funding is leading to million dollar grants for these researchers to continue their very important work."

Victoria Kennedy Video Clips 2011
Victoria Reggie Kennedy

Victoria Kennedy Shares Her Story  
At our recent annual meeting, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, took some time to sit down with the American Brain Tumor Association and share her thoughts on her husband’s diagnosis, their final months together, the importance of funding brain tumor research and much more. The American Brain Tumor Association is pleased to be able to share video highlights from that conversation.  Click here to view the videos.

American Brain Tumor Association Announces Local Grants
At the September 24 "Humor to Fight the Tumor" event in Minneapolis, MN, four Minneapolis/St. Paul-area organizations whose local work is consistent with the mission of the American Brain Tumor Association, were announced as recipients of grants totaling $25,000. The grants were funded through proceeds generated at last year's “Humor to Fight the Tumor” event. The four recipient organizations are:

  • The Angel Foundation ($7,500 award)
  • The Miracles of Mitch Foundation ($7,000 award) 
  • The Sister Kenny Foundation ($9,000 award) 
  • The United Hospital Foundation ($1,500 award)

ABTA Running Team Takes Chicago By Storm

 ABTA Running Team 2011
ABTA Running Team at the Chicago Marathon
Sixty-one members of our Running Team ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in support of the ABTA and brain tumor research. The team members, who came to Chicago from all over the country, together raised more than $100,000.  We are proud of each and every one of the runners for their commitment and amazing accomplishments.

Recruitment for the 2012 Running Team is underway. For more information please contact Alisha Kassam at 773-577-8763 or

Additional Brain Tumors Included in Expansion of Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances Conditions
Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, recently announced 13 new Compassionate Allowances conditions, all of which involved immune system and neurological disorders. The annoucement places a third primary brain tumor—primary central nervous system lymphoma—on the Compassionate Allowances list, along with glioblastoma multiforme and ependymoblastoma. The announcement was made at the U.S. Conference on Rare Disease and Orphan Products, sponsored by NORD and DIA, in Washington D.C. The Compassionate Allowances program fast-tracks disability decisions to ensure that Americans with the most serious disabilities receive their benefit decisions within days instead of months or years.  The U.S. Social Security Administration launched the program in 2008 with a list of 50 conditions; the new additions bring the list to 113 conditions. CLICK HERE to read more.

tab patient care

National Family Caregivers Month - Celebrate Those Who Care For Loved Ones with Brain Tumors
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and the American Brain Tumor Association would like to recognize family caregivers and care partners who selflessly provide care to family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones living with brain tumors. We know it is often challenging to balance care for your loved one while attending to your own needs. Visit the Care & Support section of and join us on Facebook at for caregiving tips throughout the month of November as we honor and celebrate the meaningful, important work of caregivers who make an impact on the lives of people with brain tumors each and every day.

Important Changes to Medicare Enrollment Period
The Medicare enrollment period opened early this year, on October 15 (not in November as in the past). The deadline to apply is December 7, 2011.  Those beneficiaries who don't enroll in or change plans by December 7 will have to wait until next year. Click here for more information.

tab research news

ABTA Now Accepting Applications for 2012 Research Funding Opportunities
Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Basic Research Fellowship, Translational Grant and Medical Student Summer Fellowship (MSSF) programs. ABTA researchers work toward breakthroughs that will identify new ways to improve, extend and, ultimately, save the lives of brain tumor patients. Advanced imaging techniques to make diagnosis and surgery more precise and effective and innovated approaches to halting tumor cell growth are just two examples of ABTA-funded research that is resulting in new discoveries and laying the groundwork for future breakthroughs in many areas.

Applications for these programs are due in the ABTA office no later than 5 pm (CST) January 10, 2012. Fellowships and Translational research projects begin July 1, 2012. MSSF project dates are determined by the mentor and student, but must extend 10-12 weeks over the summer months (May-September).  For more information on applying please CLICK HERE or email

Tagging Tumors With Gold: Scientist Use Gold Nanorods To Flag Brain Tumors
Researchers at Duke University's Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics and Biomedical Engineering Department have proposed a way to harness the unique optical properties of gold nanoparticles to clearly distinguish a brain tumor from healthy, and vital, tissue that surrounds it. This may provide a better way to distinguish tumor tissue, especially during surgery, because gold nanoparticles are non-toxic and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

FoxM1 Protein May Hold Key To Treatment of Pediatric Brain Tumors

FoxM1, a regulatory protein, is essential for the growth of medulloblastoma - the most frequent class of malignant childhood brain tumors. A research team found that FoxM1 was highly expressed in all subtypes of medulloblastomas. Further, the research team learned that exposing FoxM1 levels in tumor cells to the antibiotic siomycin A reduced those levels; the antibiotic also inhibited tumor growth. The researchers noted in Clinical Cancer Research, if further work on laboratory cell cultures as well as living organisms confirms these results, siomycin could turn out to be an effective drug for the treatment of medulloblastoma.

Up to 40% of Cancers are "Caused By Viruses": Discovery Offers Hope of Vaccines and New Therapies

Viruses may cause up  to 40 per cent of cancers including brain tumors and leukaemia, scientists claim. It has been known for decades that viruses cause some types of cancers but it was thought to be between 10% and 20%. Recently, however, scientists found a viral link with medulloblastoma. Scientists warn it could take a long time and huge investment before vaccines are developed.


Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to brain tumors. For nearly 40 years, the Chicago-based ABTA has provided critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, and is the only national organization providing comprehensive resources and serving the complex supportive care needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers.

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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Holiday Cards
Holiday Card 
'Tis the season...for sending holiday cards. Purchase your holiday cards from the American Brain Tumor Association--we'll receive 50% of the profits from the cards you buy and 100% of any donation* you make.

Prices start at $29 for a box of 25. Ordering deadline for personalized cards is December 9, 2011 and non-personalized cards is December 12, 2011.

View and order cards online by clicking here or call 1.888.487.5567 for a brochure. Contact Erica Jones at or 773-577-8750 with any questions.
*All donations are tax deductible.

Discover Community Support with ABTA Connections


Our Connections Online Support Community links patients, families, friends, caregivers and healthcare professionals with each other for support and inspiration. The online community was created to provide a safe place to visit, join and interact with over 400 members of the brain tumor community nationally and around the world.

Find a Clinical Trial Through TrialConnect™

The American Brain Tumor Association offers a service that links brain tumor patients with appropriate clinical trials based on tumor type and treatment history. TrialConnect™, a free and confidential service administered by EmergingMed, is offered in English and Spanish. Read more.

Consultation Services
Trained healthcare professionals who provide brain tumor information, support and education for patients, families and healthcare professionals are available via email at or by calling our toll-free CareLine at 1-800-886-ABTA (2282).


November 12, 2011
Philadelphia, PA
APT Fundraiser

December 10, 2011
Chicago, IL
The Christmas Schooner

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hosting an ABTA event? Contact us at

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.