Learn about the latest treatments for advanced brain cancer. We’ve got it covered, from new FDA approvals to emerging approaches in immunotherapy, targeted therapy, cancer vaccines, modified viruses, and more.

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    When is the Best Time to Seek a Clinical Trial for Glioblastoma?

    With: Eric Wong, MD

    For some people with glioblastoma brain tumors, enrolling in a clinical trial enables access to cutting-edge treatment. Here, our Curious Dr. George talks clinical trials with Cancer Commons Expert Physician Advisor, Eric T. Wong, MD. Dr. Wong is also Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Curious Dr. George: Malignant… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    A press release from the Children’s Cancer Institute outlines hopeful results from experiments performed in mice and 3-D computer models that investigated a new treatment for the rare childhood brain tumor diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). The treatment consists of a combination of the drugs difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) and AMXT 1501. This combo is already being tested in clinical trials in adults with cancer, and will soon be tested in children with DIPG.

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  •   George Lundberg, MD

    A press release from ScienceDaily outlines results from a small study of patients receiving a standard, FDA-approved treatment (temozolomide) for glioblastoma. The results suggest that some patients may survive a few months longer, all because of time of day for administering the drug.

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    How an Expert Would Treat His Own Glioblastoma

    With: Al Musella, DPM

    Two years ago, our Curious Dr. George asked Al Musella, DPM, what he would do if he were diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Here, he revisits that question. Dr. Musella is President of the Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc. Curious Dr. George: You direct an established foundation that supports research and information about brain tumors. What would you do if… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from The ASCO Post curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently made key updates to its clinical practice guidelines. This news story provides a summary of the updates.

    Go to full news story published by The ASCO Post.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Research paper from the Journal of Neurosurgery curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    The extent of tumor resection—how much of the tumor is able to be removed—at the initial surgery is probably the most important factor in prognosis of glioblastoma. This academic research paper explores methods that help surgeons maximize tumor removal.

    Go to full paper published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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My experience with Cancer Commons has been fantastic! Their support and advice have been extremely helpful. I will always be very greatful to the Cancer Commons team. They took the time to contact me by phone to learn more about my diagnosis so they could study my case and recommend options to consider. Thanks so much to all the people involved.

Michael Goold
Grade 4 glioblastoma patient

Molecular tests help match patients to the personalized treatments that are most likely to work for them. Keep up with new developments in genetic tests, key tumor mutations, methylation patterns, other biomarkers, and precision medicine.

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    Testing for Tumor Mutations: Liquid Biopsy Versus Traditional Biopsy

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Update as of August 27, 2020: A lot has changed in the three-and-a-half years since this blog post was written. Liquid biopsies are by now widely recognized and used as a valuable diagnostic and monitoring tool. Many of the reservations and concerns described in the original post below have been addressed and largely resolved by refining the technology. The latest proof of this is… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Academic research paper from Clinical Epigenetics curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Brain tumor treatment decisions may be improved by integrating methylation-based tumor classification into the diagnosis process. Methylation refers to specific chemical features of tumor DNA that may impact how well different treatments might work.

    Go to full academic research paper from Clinical Epigenetics.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from Clinical OMICs curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Researchers have recently demonstrated a noninvasive way to diagnose and classify brain tumors using a blood test. This promising “liquid biopsy” method detects cell-free tumor DNA in the blood and analyzes its chemical features—specifically, its “methylation patterns”—with high sensitivity and accuracy. Such a test could help guide treatment decisions.

    Go to full article published by Clinical OMICs.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from The Pathologist curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Liquid biopsy shows surprising apparent prognostic value in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

    Go to full article published by The Pathologist.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Announcement from the College of American Pathologists curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    What forms of testing should be done for diffuse gliomas? In this announcement, a global panel invites comments about proposals.

    Go to full announcement published by the College of American Pathologists.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “Researchers at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals are using next-generation genomic technology to develop targeted therapies for high-grade pediatric glioma.

    “Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD, adjunct associate professor of neurology, pediatrics and neurosurgery at University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues aim to treat as many as 44 children and young adults with this disease.”

    Go to full article published by Healio on Feb 3, 2019.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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Some of the most promising new treatments for advanced brain cancer are currently being tested in patients enrolled in clinical trials. We help you stay up to date on the latest results from these studies.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Research paper from Neuro-Oncology curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    In a phase 2 clinical trial, glioblastoma patients were treated with a herpes virus that has been genetically engineered to kill cancer cells. The genetically engineered virus is injected directly into patients’ brain tumors. It is early and the numbers are small, but the trial produced amazing results compared to historical controls.

    Go to full paper published in Neuro-Oncology.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from WKYC Studios curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    An experimental treatment in which the virus that causes polio is directly injected into glioblastoma (GBM) tissue has shown some promise, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018. This news story from WKYC provides a partial update from an ongoing subsequent clinical trial.

    Go to full article published by WKYC Studios.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Research paper from Neuro-Oncology curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    These clinical trial results suggest that six cycles of temozolomide is as effective as 12 for patients with glioblastoma and produces fewer side effects.

    Go to full paper published in Neuro-Oncology.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from The ASCO Post:

    “In a phase II trial funded by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer and reported in The Lancet Oncology, van den Bent et al found no evidence of a survival benefit with the addition of bevacizumab (Avastin) to temozolomide in patients with a first recurrence of World Health Organization grade II or III glioma without the 1p/19q codeletion.

    “In the open-label trial, conducted at 32 European centers, 155 patients were randomized between February 2011 and July 2015 to receive either temozolomide at 150 to 200 mg/m² on days 1 to 5 every 4 weeks for a maximum of 12 cycles (n = 77) or the same temozolomide regimen plus bevacizumab at 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks until disease progression (n = 78). Previous chemotherapy must have been stopped at least 6 months before enrollment, and radiotherapy, at least 3 months before enrollment. Overall, 44% of patients in the combination group and 47% in the temozolomide group had grade III disease.”

    Go to full article published by The ASCO Post on Aug 20, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from Targeted Oncology:

    “The first patient has been dosed in a phase I/II open-label, multicenter trial investigating a novel immunotherapy combination in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). Fifty patients have been accrued in the trial, as of May 31, 2018, which will be conducted at 25 sites across the nation.

    “This study aims to investigate the efficacy of INO-5401, a T-cell activating immunotherapy agent encoding multiple antigens in GBM, and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12, in combination with the PD-1 inhibitor cemiplimab (REGN2810).”

    Go to full article published by Targeted Oncology on July 9, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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It has been extremely gratifying to see how Cancer Commons has brought clarity and greater access to this expertise through its convening and curation.

Keith Flaherty, MD
Cancer Commons Advisor

Cancer affects many aspects of life, whether you’re newly diagnosed, in the midst of treatment, or in follow-up care. Learn about ways to maintain quality of life, such as palliative care and managing side effects.

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    Pediatric Palliative Care: A Specialty Comes of Age

    Sarah Friebert, MD

    For a child with cancer, palliative care can provide much-needed relief from stress and symptoms—for the patient and their family alike. Palliative care is given alongside cancer treatment, and is not synonymous with “end-of-life” care. In fact, anyone with a serious illness can benefit from palliative care, no matter their long-term outlook. Because of its importance for children with cancer, we are honored to… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    NCI-CONNECT shares insights from patients, caregivers, doctors, and advocates with the aim to help you manage your life—regardless of your brain cancer diagnosis.

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  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from Medscape curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Depression is, for obvious reasons, common in patients with advanced cancer. The old, inexpensive drug ketamine—already approved for medical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—seems rapidly effective, according to small studies.

    Go to full article published by Medscape.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Emphasizing Oncogeriatrics

    With: Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD

    A Q&A with Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD, Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom, and Chair of the Young Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG); nicolo.battisti@gmail.com Q: Everyone knows that the practice of pediatric oncology is very different from adult oncology. How does the growing field of oncogeriatrics differ from usual adult oncology? A:… Read more »

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    Best Uses of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Patients with Cancer

    With: Val Jones, MD

    A Q&A with Val Jones, MD, Medical Director of Admissions, Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, Spokane, WA Originally published February 1, 2017 Q: Your principal practice in Spokane, Washington is physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). What do you find to be the best uses of PM&R in patients with cancer at your facility? A: Rehabilitation medicine is one of the best-kept secrets in healthcare. Although the… Read more »

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    Huge Progress in Palliative Care

    With: Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP

    A Q&A with Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care; Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; New York, NY; diane.meier@mssm.edu Originally published November 8, 2017 Q: You wrote in MedGenMed in 2007 that palliative care was the job of all hospitals. In October 2017 you were honored at the National Academy of Medicine for… Read more »

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You’re not alone. Read how other patients and caregivers navigated diagnosis, treatment, and life with cancer. We hope their stories provide insights and hope for your own cancer journey.

More patient stories

Learn more about what’s new in advanced cancer research and treatment, including screening and statistics, using artificial intelligence to improve treatment, and other new horizons in cancer care.

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    Rankings of Most Common and Deadly Cancer Types Will Shift Over Next Two Decades

    In the next two decades, rankings of incidence and death across cancer types will undergo important changes in the U.S., according to new research led by Lola Rahib, PhD, Director of Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Cancer Commons, as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Published today in JAMA Network Open,… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    This piece from ASCO Connection outlines the need for and a path to improvement in cancer care for LGBTQIA patients.

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    Can Really Big Data Inform Precise Decisions for Individual Patients?

    With: Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA

    New technologies are transforming cancer research. By optimizing research protocols and leveraging data more efficiently and intelligently, these tools hold the promise to improve personalized cancer care. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA, VP of Informatics at TriNetX, LLC, about the capabilities of his company’s platform. Curious Dr. George: Translational medicine has evolved to include personalized medicine and… Read more »

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    How to Learn About Cancer in a Classroom: Shaping Compassionate Doctors

    With: Marin Langlieb

    The patients and caregivers we serve here at Cancer Commons rely on their doctors to provide expert, compassionate care. Building the skills to give such care can begin early in a doctor’s education. Here, for a change of pace, our Curious Dr. George asks a future doctor about a unique experience that helped her learn how to connect with cancer patients. Marin Langlieb is… Read more »

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    Is Cancer the Best Way to Die?

    With: Richard Smith, CBE, FMedSci

    In 2014, the prestigious medical research journal The BMJ published a controversial piece called “Dying of cancer is the best death.” Here, our Curious Dr. George asks the author of that piece, Richard Smith, CBE, FMedSci, if and how his thoughts on death have since evolved. Dr. Smith was Editor of The BMJ from 1991 to 2004 and is currently Chair of the Lancet Commission… Read more »

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    The Power of Precision Medicine is Exemplified by Tempus

    With: Nike Beaubier, MDNamratha Sastry, PhD

    Tempus—a tech company & partner of Cancer Commons—empowers doctors to make data-driven decisions for their patients in real time. Learn how.

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The coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to cancer patients. We can help you understand how COVID-19 might impact your treatment and other aspects of your cancer care.