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December 2013


ABTA Funding Supports Development of Two New Malignant Glioma Drugs
In just three years since the launch of the American Brain Tumor Association’s Discovery Grant program, we are pleased to announce that our funding has aided the development of two new brain tumor drugs that target malignant gliomas such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Read more about these research breakthroughs.

Updates from the Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting
SNO QoL 2013Staff from the ABTA joined more than 2,000 healthcare professionals last month in San Francisco for the 4th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology and Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Annual Meeting. Four days of scientific and clinical presentations addressed current best practices in treating brain tumors, quality of life and symptom management, and new areas of research interest. The meeting offered opportunities for collaborative dialogue between industry, scientists, clinicians, federal funders, patient advocates and philanthropy organizations.  

Among the highlights:

  • Discussions of the studies needed to determine the most beneficial uses of bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • The current “state of the science” in biologic markers
  • Emerging image-based technologies that measure mineral content and ph in the tissue around the tumor to monitor for tumor regrowth
  • Coming changes in the way tumors are classified or “grouped” based on their biologic differences
  • Early observations from ongoing clinical trials (visit the ABTA’s TrialConnect for more information on open trials)
  • A growing interest among clinician scientists in immune therapies

The ABTA sponsored a Quality of Life track which provided symptom management and palliative care tools for allied health professionals working with patients and their caregivers, while many ABTA-funded researchers shared their study data with other researchers via podium and poster presentations. 

Webinar: Fertility Concerns for the Brain Tumor Survivor
Couple Talking to DoctorBrain tumor survivors may face long-term reproductive challenges as a result of their treatment. Our webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2:00 p.m. CST will explore the effects various types of treatments can have on both male and female fertility, along with options for preserving and restoring fertility. The webinar will be co-presented by Lisa Kolp, MD and Pravin Rao, MD, both of Johns Hopkins UniversityThere will be time for Q & A with Dr. Kolp and Dr. Rao immediately following the presentation. Register for “Fertility Concerns for the Brain Tumor Survivor.”

Infertility is just one of many potential long-term effects of brain tumor treatment. Read more about how side and late effects can impact survivorship in the ABTA’s Headlines newsletter.


Holiday Caregiving Stress? Turn to the ABTA’s CareLine
Caring for a loved one with a brain tumor can be overwhelming — and the holiday season may lead to increased stress as families struggle to make life feel as normal as possible. The ABTA’s licensed health care professionals can help you better understand and manage the stress and emotions you may be experiencing. For a one- on-one consultation call the ABTA Careline at 800-886-ABTA (2282); or email your questions or concerns to


The Giving Season
In addition to donating to the ABTA's annual fund, there are other ways you can support the ABTA:

  • Purchase our Holiday Cards and 50 percent of your order will be donated to the ABTA. There are dozens of designs to choose from starting at $29 per box of 25.
  • CFC LogoChoose the ABTA for your CFC Campaign now through January 15.  If you are a federal employee or member of the U.S. military, your registration deadline for the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has been extended to January 15. Participating in the CFC allows you to deduct funds from your paycheck to be donated directly to the ABTA. Select the American Brain Tumor Association (CFC#11033) on the CFC form, and be sure to check the box to release your information to the ABTA.
  • Double your donations with a Matching Gift. Learn if your employer will match your gift by using our Employer Search web feature. 
  • Enroll in Payroll Giving. Many corporate workplaces offer charitable payroll deductions. Talk to your HR representative about opportunities at your company for payroll giving such as choosing the ABTA through a United Way Campaign. 


We’d Like to Hear from You
We are in the process of updating our database and reviewing the effectiveness of our outreach efforts. Your participation in a brief online survey will help us to more effectively provide information that is of interest to you in a way that is the most convenient and preferable for you.
Visit to complete the survey. 


tab research newsExtended Temozolomide Treatment Cycle Shows No Survival Improvement for Newly Diagnosed GBM 
Standard of care for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) is surgery and radiotherapy with concurrent temozolomide (Temodar). An international collaboration recently studied the possible effects of extended temozolomide treatment cycles on the survival of more than 800 newly diagnosed GBM patients. In addition to longer use of the drug, the study also looked at the status of the MGMT gene in patients’ tumor tissue. While the researchers found that prolonged use of temozolomide did not extend survival, MGMT status did provide information about patient response to treatment and survival. Read the abstract in the November 2013 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology.


A Review of Cerebellar Mutism in Children
A transient lack of ability to speak following removal of tumors located in the posterior fossa of the brain (the bottom, back, lower part of the brain) can be a common but very worrisome consequence of surgery. Some articles estimate that 24% of children undergoing surgery for medulloblastoma--especially when the tumor is located near the brain stem--may experience this sudden onset speech impairment. A review article written by a research team in Greece addressed the incidence of this mutism, why it is thought to occur, risk factors, and the need for parental counseling prior to surgery. While this effect is often of short duration, it may have longer term impact on the child’s speech, memory processing and reasoning. Read the abstract in the December 2013 issue of Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.


Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing information, support and educational resources for all age groups and all  tumor types. For more information, visit or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).

This information is provided by the American Brain Tumor Association, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 550, Chicago, IL 60631. For more information about the American Brain Tumor Association, call toll-free 866-659-1030, write or visit
The "American Brain Tumor Association" name and logo,  the "Breakthrough for Brain Tumors" name and logo, the "Team Breakthrough" name and logo and "TrialConnect" are registered trademarks of the American Brain Tumor Association. All rights reserved. 
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Having Fun Raising Funds

To learn more about our events, to search for events in your state, or to learn how to host your own volunteer fundraising event, visit: 

Connect with Others at Connections Online 
The ABTA's Connections online support community links patients, families, friends and caregivers with each other for support and inspiration. It is a safe place to visit, join and interact with members of the brain tumor community nationally and around the world.
Find a Clinical Trial Through TrialConnect
The ABTA's TrialConnect, a free and confidential service administered by EmergingMed, is offered in English and Spanish. Read more.


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 websites or individual(s)/companies/institutions operating these websites.