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February 2014

ABTA TabAsk an ABTA Researcher
Introducing Ask an ABTA Researcher. Starting this month, we will be including Q&A's with ABTA-funded researchers. The ABTA receives so many great questions from patients, caregivers and supporters across the country, that we thought it would be great to share the questions we get, and more importantly the answers. 


Q: What is the difference between the “genetics” of brain tumors and “hereditary factors” involved in brain tumor risk?

Answer provided by Kyle M. Walsh, PhD, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Walsh is using epidemiology to understand how the risk for brain tumors can be inherited across generations. Click here to read Dr. Walsh’s full answer.

We would love to hear from you. If you have a question you would like to submit, click here.  

Find Out What’s New Near You
US MapBreaking Through Near You, the ABTA’s monthly regional email, provides updates on events and news happening in your region of the country. Make sure you’re on our list! Click here to update your information with your city and state, and we’ll be sure to include you on upcoming communication.


tab research news

New Immune Vaccine Shows Promise
Dr ParsaPurposeful manipulation of the immune system may offer a promising way of improving outcomes for patients with glioblastoma (GBM). A recent study of a new vaccine, whose research was partially funded by the ABTA, appeared to improve median survival (the point at which an equal number of people do better as do worse) for those with a recurrent GBM. The vaccine, called HSPPC-96, is a protein that can be extracted from a patient’s own tumor to form a vaccine. The treatment appeared to boost the patient’s own immune response and increase the effectiveness of other therapies. Read more about the results of this phase II clinical trial here.


Understanding Treatment Resistance
Cure CoverOne of the challenges of treating malignant tumors is a phenomenon called treatment resistance – the innate ability of tumor cells to grow resistant to a therapy to which they may have originally responded. Understanding how that resistance happens, and what researchers are doing to counter this effect, is the topic of the feature story in the Winter 2013 issue of CURE magazine. One of the approaches targets mitochondria – the energy producing part of a tumor cell and a drug development strategy that a recent ABTA Discovery Grant is helping to support. Read more about these innovative ways of “outsmarting” cancer cells here.

Online Education Tab

Carousel_Webinar_2-12_14.jpgWednesday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. – Causes and Risk Factors of Brain Tumors.
Join Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, PhD, associate professor at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to hear updates on what we know about some causes and risk factors of brain tumors. Click here to RSVP.

Medulloblastoma WebinarThursday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. – Diagnosis, Management and Treatment of Medulloblastoma. Paul Fisher, MD, MHS, professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, division chief of Neurology at Stanford University and Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hopital will discuss many discoveries, including new laboratory genomics that are rapidly shaping treatments. Click here to RSVP.

March 19 webinar pediatric brain tumorsWednesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. – Managing Survivorship for Adolescents and Young Adults who had Pediatric Brain Tumors. Stewart Goldman, MD, and Jennifer Reichek, MD, MSW, both of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will discuss the different needs of adolescent and young adult brain tumor survivors, including social skills, dating, education, employment and more. Click here to RSVP.

Carousel_Webinar_3-27.jpgThursday, March 27 at 2 p.m. – Metastatic Brain Tumors: A Treatment and Care Update. Join co-presenters Duane Mitchell, MD, PhD and Maryam Rahman, MD, of the Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, as they address treatment options of metastatic tumors, quality of life concerns, status of the primary cancer and more. Click here to RSVP.


tab events

Join Erin as She Makes Breakthroughs 
Erin D'AddioEach day, 500 people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. One fateful day, Erin D’Addio was one of those 500. Today, Erin is a survivor and she is helping others who face a brain tumor diagnosis by participating in a Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K Run & Walk

Join Erin, and hundreds of others, as we make breakthroughs in brain tumor research and care. Visit to sign up for an event near you.

Secure Your Spot for the Chicago Marathon
Chicago MarathonThe Bank of America Chicago Marathon is switching to a lottery-style registration system this year, but we can save a bib for you! Join Team Breakthrough and receive a guaranteed entry to the 2014 Chicago Marathon, plus other exclusive benefits including a comprehensive training program, a personal fundraising webpage, fundraising support, team pasta dinner the night before the race, and much more.

Visit today to learn all about how you can be a part of this amazing team.

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).
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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.