Brain Cancer Research

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  • Glioblastoma—Unraveling the Threads: A Q&A with Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of the NIH Neuro-Oncology Branch
    Posted: August 3, 2017

    Progress against the brain cancer glioblastoma has been slow. Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of NCI’s Neuro-Oncology Branch discuss why and what’s being done to change that.

  • PARP Inhibitors May Be Effective in Brain, Other Cancers with IDH Mutations
    Posted: April 24, 2017

    Studies presented at the 2017 AACR annual meeting suggest that therapies which take advantage of the mutations in the IDH gene may be more effective than drugs that block it.

  • Brain Cancer’s Cholesterol Addiction May Offer New Treatment Strategy
    Posted: December 16, 2016

    Brain cancer cells are heavily dependent on a constant supply of cholesterol to survive, a new study suggests. And in mice with brain tumors, treatment with a cholesterol-depleting drug slowed tumor growth and improved survival.

  • Trials Produce Practice-Changing Results for Brain Cancer
    Posted: June 9, 2016

    Results from two clinical trials show that treating patients with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide in addition to radiation therapy increased overall and progression-free survival.

  • With Immunotherapy, Glimmers of Progress against Glioblastoma
    Updated: March 8, 2016

    Researchers who specialize in brain cancer are optimistic about immunotherapy’s prospects for improving outcomes in patients with this aggressive form of brain cancer.

  • Genome Study Links Misfolded DNA to Brain Tumors
    Posted: January 12, 2016

    Changes in the packaging of DNA in the cell nucleus may activate growth-promoting genes that cause cancer.

  • Patient with Brain Tumor Responds Dramatically to Targeted Therapy
    Posted: December 3, 2015

    A patient with a papillary craniopharyngioma saw his tumor shrink more than 80 percent after treatment with a targeted drug that inhibits a mutant form of the BRAF protein.

  • Genomic underpinnings of brain tumors expanded
    Posted: June 10, 2015

    TCGA researchers analyzed nearly 300 cases of diffuse low- and intermediate-grade gliomas, which together comprise lower-grade gliomas. LGGs occur mainly in adults and include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas.

  • "Flipping the Switch": An Interview with Dr. Mark Gilbert, Chief of NIH’s Neuro-Oncology Branch
    Posted: February 18, 2015

    NCI's Dr. Mark Gilbert discusses new developments in neuro-oncology and the priorities of the Neuro-Oncology Branch.

  • Adding chemotherapy following radiation treatment improves survival for adults with a slow-growing type of brain tumor
    Posted: February 3, 2014

    Adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain tumor, who received chemotherapy following completion of radiation therapy lived longer than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to long-term follow-up results from a NIH-supported randomized controlled clinical trial. Low-grade gliomas have a more indolent or slower growing behavior and better outcome compared to the more common high-grade gliomas such as glioblastoma. [Image copyright Mayo Clinic, 2012]

  • Genomic understanding of glioblastoma expanded
    Posted: October 10, 2013

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) was the first cancer type to be systematically studied by TCGA in 2008. In a new, complementary report, TCGA experts examined more than 590 GBM samples--the largest to date utilizing genomic characterization techniques and nearly 400 more than were examined in 2008--to identify several additional significantly mutated genes in GBM implicated in the regulation of chromatin modification.

  • Video Eases End-of-Life Care Discussions
    Updated: January 3, 2013

    Patients with advanced cancer who watched a video that depicts options for end-of-life care were more certain of their end-of-life decision making than patients who only listened to a verbal narrative and were likely to choose comfort care over aggressive medical care for their end-of-life care preferences, according to an article published online November 30, 2009, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

  • Adding Chemotherapy to Radiation Improves Survival for Some Patients with Rare Brain Cancer
    Posted: November 29, 2012

    Long-term results from two clinical trials confirm that certain patients with rare brain tumors called anaplastic oligodendrogliomas live substantially longer if they are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy rather than radiation alone.

  • U.S. population data show no increase in brain cancer rates during period of expanding cell phone use
    Posted: March 8, 2012

    In a new examination of United States cancer incidence data, investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported that incidence trends have remained roughly constant for glioma, the main type of brain cancer hypothesized to be related to cell phone use.

  • Genetic abnormality predicts benefit from treatment for a rare brain tumor:
    Posted: January 19, 2012

    A clinical trial has shown that addition of chemotherapy to radiation therapy leads to a near doubling of median survival time in patients with a form of brain tumor (oligodendroglioma) that carries a chromosomal abnormality called the 1p19q co-deletion. This abnormality is characterized by the simultaneous deletion of the short arm of chromosome 1 and long arm of chromosome 19. The presence of the chromosomal abnormality was associated with substantially better prognosis and marked improvements in survival in a treatment program of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared to radiation therapy alone.

  • Lenalidomide and Radiation for Children with Brain Cancers
    Posted: May 17, 2011

    In this trial, patients up to age 18 who are newly diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) or who have other high-grade gliomas that could not be completely resected will undergo radiation therapy and receive oral lenalidomide at increasing doses daily for 6 weeks, followed by lenalidomide alone.