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March 2014

ABTA TabAsk an ABTA Researcher
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.

Priscilla BrastianosQ: What is the difference between a Phase I and a Phase II clinical trial?

Answer provided by Priscilla Brastianos, MD, medical neuro-oncologist and physician-scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, with a clinical and scientific interest in brain metastases. Click here to read Dr. Brastianos' full answer.

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

Save the Date: 2014 Patient and Family Conference
2012 Patient Conference ResearcherJoin us for the ABTA's 2014 conference, "Providing and Pursuing Answers: Advances in Research, Treatment and Care," taking place July 25-26 in Chicago. Meet and speak with leading neuro-oncology physicians and researchers, allied health care professionals and more. More information will be forth coming. Questions? Call 800-886-ABTA (2282) or email


The ABTA Supports Advocacy Efforts
The ABTA serves as a voice for the brain tumor community on public policy and legislative issues as a member of key Washington D.C.-based advocacy groups whose efforts are aligned with the interests of our brain tumor constituents. Recently the ABTA signed on to two important letters issued by some of these organizations. The National Organization for Rare Disorders’ (NORD) letter urges key congressional committees to not repeal the Orphan Drug Tax Credit. The Orphan Drug Tax Credit is a major incentive created as part of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 to encourage the development of treatments for people with rare diseases. Brain tumors are considered an “orphan disease” since fewer than 200,000 people are diagnosed each year. Click here to read the full NORD letter. 

The ABTA also signed onto the Regulatory Education and Action for Patients (REAP) letter commenting on the proposed changes to the Medicare Part D and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, in particular, the proposed elimination of some of the protected drug classes – among which are anticonvulsants and antidepressants.

We will provide updates on these efforts. As an organization, the ABTA is proud to be able to represent the patients and caregivers who can often go unheard. 

Join Our Monthly Giving Program
Monthly CalendarMonthly giving can be done with just one click.  When you become a monthly giver, you’re taking a stand in the fight against brain tumors.  With a monthly gift of just $10 or more, you can choose an ABTA pin, wristband or window cling as special thank you gift from us to you for your continued generosity. Make your commitment today and help us advance our mission and achieve the breakthroughs of tomorrow.  

tab research news

Increased sensitivity to radiochemotherapy in GBM 
Recent laboratory experiments suggest that glioblastomas (GBMs) with IDH1 mutations may be more sensitive to radiation therapy, but there are different types of IDH1 mutations.  A team of researchers, including recent ABTA research awardees, Drs. Albert Lai and Sichen Li, hypothesized that response to radiation and concurrent chemotherapy would be significantly different between ”IDH1 mutant” versus ”wild–type” glioblastomas (GBMs). The researchers compared tumor growth rates between 10 people whose tumors showed IDH1 mutations to 29 people with IDH1 wild-type mutations, all of whom were treated with standard radiation and concurrent Temodar.  The study results, published in Neuro-Oncology (March 2014), suggest that the IDH1 mutant GBMs are more responsive to treatment than those with IDH1 wild-type GBMs. Read the abstract here.

Online Education Tab

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.


Oligodendroglioma webinarWednesday, April 9 at 2 p.m. - Oligodendroglioma: New Treatments and Updates in Care.

Join Nina Paleologos, MD, of Rush University Medical Center as she shares the latest in treatment options and care for oligodendroglioma, whether you're newly diagnosed or facing recurrence. Click here to RSVP.


tab eventsRun with Rachel
Rachel Palvis and Mother Team Breakthrough 2014

"I know the only thing I am able to control about this cancer is my ability to raise awareness for it and funds to fight it, so I decided I would do my part by running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for the American Brain Tumor Association. It will be my first marathon, and running the 26.2 miles will be the least I can do for my mother and the least I can do to help, so that hopefully one day no other patients or families will suffer because of this disease." - Rachel Pavlis

Meet Rachel. She's running the 2014 Bank of America Marathon with Team Breakthrough, in memory of her mother, Janina, who recently lost her battle with a glioblastoma. 

Join Rachel and cross the finish line. Register with Team Breakthrough for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and help in the fight against brain tumors. 

Breakthrough at a BT5K Run & Walk
Email Photo.BT5K Participants.1.13.14
If you're not up for a full marathon, our
Breakthrough for Brain Tumor 5K Run & Walks are a great way to get involved! With multiple events coming up across the country, now is the time to sign up! Come together with patients, families and friends as we raise funds for critical support services and brain tumor research. Visit to find a BT5K Run & Walk near you! 

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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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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For brain tumor information and support CALL OUR CARELINE: 800-886-ABTA (2282) or e-mail

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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.