Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Research Results and Study Updates
See Advances in Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Research for an overview of recent findings and progress, plus ongoing projects supported by NCI.
Vulnerability in Brain Tumors May Open Door to New TreatmentsPosted:
Two companion studies have found different forms of some brain tumors, diffuse midline glioma and IDH-mutant glioma, become dependent for their survival on the production of chemicals called pyrimidines. Clinical trials are planned to test a drug that blocks pyrimidine synthesis in patients with gliomas.
For Some Kids with Brain Cancer, Targeted Therapy Is Better than ChemoPosted:
The combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) shrank more brain tumors, kept the tumors at bay for longer, and caused fewer side effects than chemotherapy, trial results showed. The children all had glioma with a BRAF V600 mutation that could not be surgically removed or came back after surgery.
New Way to Classify Meningioma Brain Tumors Suggests Potential TreatmentsPosted:
Two separate but complementary studies have identified a new way to classify meningioma, the most common type of brain tumor. The grouping system may help predict whether a patient’s tumor will grow back after treatment and identify new treatments.
Experimental Medulloblastoma Treatment Gets a Boost with NanoparticlesPosted:
A nanoparticle coating may help cancer drugs reach medulloblastoma tumors in the brain and make the treatment less toxic. Mice treated with nanoparticles containing palbociclib (Ibrance) and sapanisertib lived substantially longer than those treated with either drug alone.
Test Detects Early Signs of Remaining Cancer in Kids Treated for MedulloblastomaPosted:
A new test could potentially be used to identify children treated for medulloblastoma who are at high risk of their cancer returning. The test detects evidence of remaining cancer in DNA shed from medulloblastoma tumor cells into cerebrospinal fluid.
For Kids with Medulloblastoma, Trial Suggests Radiation Can Be TailoredPosted:
Standard radiation for medulloblastoma can cause long-term damage to a child’s developing brain. A new clinical trial suggests that the volume and dose of radiation could be safely tailored based on genetic features in the patient’s tumor.
Steroids May Limit the Effectiveness of Immunotherapy for Brain CancerPosted:
In people with glioblastoma and other brain cancers, steroids appear to limit the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs, a new study shows. The findings should influence how steroids are used to manage brain tumor symptoms, researchers said.
Liquid Biopsy Detects Brain Cancer and Early-Stage Kidney CancerPosted:
Results from two studies show that a liquid biopsy that analyzes DNA in blood accurately detected kidney cancer at early and more advanced stages and identified and classified different types of brain tumors.
Artificial Intelligence Expedites Brain Tumor Diagnosis during SurgeryPosted:
A method that combines artificial intelligence with an advanced imaging technology can accurately diagnose brain tumors in fewer than 3 minutes during surgery, a new study shows. The approach can also accurately distinguish tumor from healthy tissue.
Brain Cancer Cells Hijack Gene “On Switches” to Drive Tumor GrowthPosted:
Glioblastoma cells sneak many copies of a key oncogene into circular pieces of DNA. In a new NCI-funded study, scientists found that the cells also slip several different genetic “on switches” into these DNA circles, helping to fuel the cancer’s growth.
Glioblastoma Study Highlights Sex Differences in Brain CancerPosted:
Men and women with glioblastoma appear to respond differently to standard treatment. A new study identifies biological factors that might contribute to this sex difference.
Blood Test Shows Promise for Detecting Genetic Changes in Brain TumorsPosted:
A liquid biopsy blood test can detect DNA from brain tumors called diffuse midline gliomas, researchers have found. This minimally invasive test could be used to identify and follow molecular changes in children with these highly lethal brain tumors.
Can Immunotherapy Succeed in Glioblastoma?Posted:
Despite continued efforts to develop new therapies for glioblastoma, none have been able to improve how long patients live appreciably. Despite some setbacks, researchers are hopeful that immunotherapy might be able to succeed where other therapies have not.
Adding Immune-based Treatments to Standard Glioblastoma TherapyPosted:
This phase 2 trial is testing standard therapy (surgery, radiation, and temozolomide) plus the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab with or without a cancer treatment vaccine for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, a common and deadly type of brain tumor.
Glioblastoma—Unraveling the Threads: A Q&A with Drs. Mark Gilbert and Terri Armstrong of the NIH Neuro-Oncology BranchPosted:
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 MutationsPosted:
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.