New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Sat May 10, 2014 4:45 pm

Chislehurst musician with brain tumour composes World Cup song

A Chislehurst musician suffering from a terminal brain tumour has composed a World Cup song.

Steve Dawson, a professional trumpet player, composed the song with musicians from all around the world in a bid to raise money for charity and fund a life extending drug called Avastin which is not available on the NHS.

The 55-year-old father of two was unable to hear due to the pressure from the tumour when he first thought of the idea for the song.

After undergoing surgery to restore his hearing, Steve listened to the song for the first time after he had written down his musical ideas and given them to other professional musicians. His first comment was “I need to fix the bassline.”

Steve’s wife Donna said: “This is obviously so much more than a song for us as a family. If Steve’s World Cup Song could help unite and uplift people whilst raising funds to extend his life and the lives of many other brain cancer patients it would be a dream come true.”

Steve needs to raise around £7,000 to be able to buy Avastin. ... _1_3591205

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Wed May 14, 2014 8:14 pm

Spending more than 15 hours on a mobile phone each month leaves you 'three times more likely to develop a brain tumour'

People who make more than 15 hours of mobile telephone calls a month are three times as likely to develop brain cancer, new research suggests.

French scientists claims that sales and business professionals are particularly at risk as they travel from meeting to meeting while communicating with clients and bosses constantly.

While most people average around two-and-a-half hours each month talking on their mobiles, busy executives can quickly reach far higher figures.

Those who clock up around 900 hours of mobile use during the course of their career are particularly prone to developing a brain tumour.

The researchers drew their conclusions from a study of 253 cases of glioma and 194 cases of meningioma reported in four French departments between 2004 and 2006.

Patients were matched against 892 healthy individuals drawn from the general population, in a bid to spot any differences between the two groups.

The comparison found a risk among those who used their phone intensively which was three times higher than those who use it far less.

The duration of use in the at risk category ranged from between two and 10 years, averaging at five years.

The Bordeaux University research, which is published in the British Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, is the latest possible evidence of the dangers of too much mobile phone use.

It led to Priartem, a French pressure group, to call for tougher rules regulating electromagnetic waves.

Janine Le Calvez, the group's president, told Le Parisien newspaper: 'How much proof is needed before we launch real protective measures for the population, notably for children who start using mobiles from the age of 13?'

The World Health Organisation's International Agency for Cancer Research has classed electromagnetic waves, including the type emitted by mobile phones, as 'possible carcinogens.'

But Roger Salamon, of the ISPED institute which carried out the research, said: 'There is no reason to panic. This does not mean that everyone who makes a call with a mobile phone is going to get a brain tumour.'

The study itself reads: 'It is difficult to define a level of risk, if any, especially as mobile phone technology is constantly evolving," the study acknowledged.

'The rapid evolution of technology has led to a considerable increase in the use of mobile phones and a parallel decrease of [radiowave intensity] emitted by the phones.

'Studies taking account of these recent developments and allowing the observation of potential long-term effects will be needed.' ... laims.html

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Sun May 18, 2014 3:18 pm

Amazing skill sees surgeons remove brain tumour from awake mum

A MELBOURNE woman has had a tumour the size of her fist removed from her brain while she was awake.

The technique allowed Lisa Knabe’s surgeon to check that her ability to move and speak remained unimpaired as he carefully removed the cancer.

The surgery came just days after husband Ben found the mother of three in bed having a seizure.

“She was groaning and her eyes were looking up to the left and her arms and legs were convulsing, it was pretty traumatic,” said Mr Smith, who has served in the armed forces.

A tumour had ballooned inside the 38-year-old’s brain. St Vincent’s Private Hospital neurosurgeon Paul Smith told her the best way to remove it was to perform surgery while she was awake.

“It was a shock, but I just thought, I’ve got to get this thing out,” Mrs Knabe said.

Mr Smith said she was at a very high risk of losing movement after surgery, as the tumour was close to areas that control the co-ordination of movement, planning, speaking and under- standing speech.

But keeping Mrs Knabe awake would allow him to identify and avoid vital areas in her brain while removing as much of the tumour as possible, he explained.

“It allows you to monitor the neurological functions, like speech and motor function, while you are operating on them,” Mr Smith added.

During the surgery her scalp was anaesthetised and her head was pinned in place in case she had another seizure while the operation was in progress.

Mr Smith used an electrical stimulator to identify the areas in the brain in charge of movement and speech.

The probe is capable of making a patient’s arms and legs jerk and affect their speech.

Mrs Knabe said that despite being awake she did not remember anything from the operation except seeing the surgeons shake hands at the successful conclusion.

Just five months after the surgery only a small section of tumour remains and she has regained full function in her arms and legs.

Mr Knabe said his wife had an amazing attitude throughout the ordeal.

The couple remain thankful to the hospital team and to their family for their unwavering support.

Their interstate relatives even lived in a caravan out the front of their house to help care for their three daughters.

While the surgical technique was not new, Mr Smith said it was now being used on more aggressive brain ­tumours.

The surgery will be ­presented at a neurosurgical symposium in Melbourne today to highlight advancements in brain surgery to ­regional doctors to help them care for their patients in the aftermath of operations. ... 6920675697

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Tue May 20, 2014 8:54 pm

Brave student Hannah to address top-flight conference

A young brain tumour patient from Chester who beat the odds to train as a teacher will take centre stage in London tomorrow (Tuesday, May 20) when world-renowned scientists gather to drive forward the search for a cure.

University of Chester student Hannah Jones, of Westminster Park , was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 15, when she was studying for her GCSEs at Christleton High School.

She will tell researchers from around the world about her own experience living in the shadow of a brain tumour and urge them to do whatever it takes to find more effective treatments.

Hannah, now 20, had two major brain operations and gruelling radiotherapy treatment after her tumour was first diagnosed in 2008. It recurred less than a year later and she underwent further life-saving surgery which caused a stroke, leaving her unable to walk or feed herself.

She made an astonishing recovery and went on to win awards for her courage and her fundraising efforts for The Brain Tumour Charity, organisers of the Brilliant Minds symposium. Hannah has raised more than £170,000 to date to help fund its pioneering brain tumour research and was crowned Champion of Champions in the Trinity Mirror/Scottish Power Your Champions awards in 2010.

Hannah had another cause for celebration when she passed her driving test earlier today.

Now in her final year of a teaching degree at the University of Chester, Hannah will have an MRI scan next month that marks the fifth anniversary of her last operation. A clear result would represent a significant milestone – but Hannah lives with the knowledge that she could face a further battle against her cancer.

“It will come back in the end,” she said. “But I’ll carry on fundraising and talking about brain tumour research until I can’t do it any more.”

Hannah’s own neurosurgeon and oncologist from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will be in the audience to hear her speak, along with specialists from countries including the US, Australia, Germany, Canada, Holland and Italy.

After the event at the Queen Elizabeth II conference in Westminster, Hannah will speak at a parliamentary reception attended by symposium participants, MPs and peers from all parties and families affected by brain tumours.

She is passionate about the need for more brain tumour research, believing she is alive today partly because she was one of the first paediatric brain tumour patients in the UK to be given chemotherapy drugs via ‘wafers’ inserted into her brain.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children in the UK and other young people Hannah met during her treatment have already lost their lives to the disease.

She will tell the symposium: “We should not have to plan our funerals as children or young adults, pick our funeral songs, say goodbyes.”

Hannah said she would also use her speech to highlight the long-term effects of brain tumours and their treatment.

“I think it’s important for the researchers to be aware that it’s not just the cancer that changes your life, it’s what happens because of the treatment.

“My pituitary gland was damaged by radiotherapy, which means it doesn’t produce growth hormones, so I suffered from extreme tiredness after my treatment. Now I have to have an injection of replacement growth hormones every night.”

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are bringing together a group of brilliant minds, researchers at the forefront of international efforts to improve brain tumour treatments and to find a cure.

“We want Hannah there because none of us should ever forget that every research discovery, every laboratory achievement, every treatment trial has the potential to change and save lives like hers.

“Hannah’s courage and determination have already inspired so many people to help us in the fight against brain tumours. Now her story will be heard by an international audience with the power to drive forward global brain tumour research.” ... nt-7142283

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Wed May 21, 2014 8:44 pm

Health First: Brain tumours require quick action

For six months, Kim Jang knew something was wrong with her six-year-old son.

Various doctors attributed Nate’s headaches and vomiting to anxiety because Jang had started a job outside the home.

But an MRI she insisted on showed a brain tumour resting on his optic nerve. He went immediately to B.C. Children’s Hospital for surgery.

Dr. Arjun Sahgal, deputy chief of the department of radiation oncology at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto, says signs of a brain tumour are often non-specific and can be difficult to diagnose.

He advises parents to make multiple visits to the emergency room when their child is not receiving the attention they believe they need.

“That also triggers the fact that hey something’s wrong here, we’ve got to look a little bit further,” Sahgal said.

Nate’s tumour grew two centimetres within two weeks of his first surgery, so Nate faced a year of chemotherapy. In three years, Nate underwent eight surgeries and chemotherapy.

Now nine years old, he copes with left-side weakness and wears a brace on his left leg but is otherwise fine. His six-month MRI also looked good.

“The chemo shrunk [the tumour] significantly but he still has a piece of it there,” Jang said. “There’s always, obviously, the chance that it could grow.”

Six months after Nate was diagnosed with a brain tumour, his classmate, Adam, was diagnosed with the same type of tumour. Adam’s grew in a different spot in his brain and was immediately removed.

Sahgal says children tend to grow less aggressive brain tumours than adults. Doctors avoid using radiation on children because the treatment can damage their brains or cause cancer to reoccur.

Every day, 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. It’s estimated the average patient will make 52 visits to their healthcare team in the first year after diagnosis.

The most common type of malignant brain tumour in adults is glioblastoma multiforme. Average survival, even with aggressive treatment, is less than a year. Brain tumours are the leading cause of solid cancer death (as opposed to blood- or lymph-based cancers) in children under age 20. Brain tumours are the third leading cause of solid cancer death in those aged 20 to 39.

Sahgal says quick decisions typically must be made following diagnosis of a brain tumour. A board member of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, he suggests the foundation’s website as a resource. Visitors can submit medical questions that are answered by specialists and watch videos about various treatments.

Jang likes that the foundation organizes events for children who’ve had brain tumours.

“Nathan feels that these kids are kind of the same as me,” she said.

For the third year in a row, Nate and Adam’s families, friends and neighbours will participate as team Nate ‘n’ Adams Peeps in the Vancouver Spring Sprint, May 25, which raises money for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. Participants can walk or run 2.5 or five kilometres.

There’s no registration fee or minimum amount one must raise.

Every dollar raised supports the production of Brain Tumour Handbooks for adults and children, a national network of support groups, education events and the provision of information online. Donations help ensure health care professionals across the country are educated about brain tumours and patients needs and supports research projects. ... -1.1067955

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Thu May 22, 2014 10:15 pm

Brain tumour diagnosis for son sent family on roller-coaster ride of surgery, treatment and therapy

A roller-coaster ride.

That’s how Patricia and Rod McKee describe their son Jake’s journey after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age seven.

Jake was a seemingly healthy boy when he developed headaches in the summer of 2012. Since Jake didn’t complain a lot, his parents didn’t think too much of it at the time.

“Then a few times he would just say he wasn’t feeling well,” Patricia said. “The symptoms kind of came and went.”

In October 2012, Jake began vomiting in the mornings, which was thought to be the flu.

But on the advice of Telehealth Ontario, Patricia took Jake to The Hospital for Sick Children where an alert emergency room doctor ordered a CT scan after performing a balance test.

“She took him to the hospital just thinking he had a flu,” Rod said. “It was a total shock when they told her it was a tumour. Our lives changed overnight.”

Patricia said Jake was “pretty critical” on the night of the diagnosis, noting doctors were “standing by to operate even that evening if they had to, but were hoping to wait until the morning, (which) they did.”

Jake was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour called ependymoma and underwent a 12-hour surgery.

Rod recalls the words of neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Dirks right after the operation.

“He said ‘that was probably one of the most difficult surgeries’ and he kind of paused and he said ‘actually it probably was the most difficult.’”

Jake’s tumour had been wrapped around the brain stem, bending the brain stem.

“They removed what they thought was the complete tumour but upon further imaging they found that there was a little bit left,” Patricia said.

Jake went through three cycles of chemotherapy as part of a clinical trial, underwent a second surgery in January 2013 to remove the residual tumour and then received 33 rounds of focal radiation.

But with the surgeries came posterior fossa syndrome, a postoperative condition that causes speech disturbances, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and decreased motor movement.

“He (Jake) was very angry, and the steroids (given to relieve inflammation in the brain after surgery) I think contributed to that,” Patricia said. “Jake is a very sensitive, kind and gentle boy, but the boy I saw after surgery was not that.”

Jake couldn’t swallow (not even his own saliva) and was fed through a feeding tube until he regained his swallowing ability in August. He also had to learn to walk again.

“It’s like a roller-coaster,” Rod said. “One minute you’re just praying he’ll survive and then you’re happy he survived and you’re hoping he’s going to be able to walk and eat.”

Jake received four months of extensive physiotherapy at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and became fairly independent again.

Things were finally looking up.

But in October Jake began complaining of back pain, and an MRI in December showed four tumours on his spine.

“So the ependymoma had metastasized,” said Patricia. “We started immediately with full brain and full spine radiation for 30 days.”

Jake then underwent surgery to remove the tumours.

“With this surgery, he’s having problems walking again,” Patricia said.

Jake has now returned to Holland Bloorview for therapy; he’s scheduled to be there until the end of June.

“We’re hoping to have the best summer ever. We’ve been through two years of really challenging times as a family,” Patricia said.

“We’re just going to try to enjoy our time together as much as we can so that we can sort of get back to normal.”

Patricia had this advice to families going through a similar ordeal: “Trust your Sick Kids team and just always have hope.”

Jake said Sick Kids wasn’t a scary place. “It’s a good place because they help you get better,” he said. “They helped save my life.”

The McKee family has created a tribute for Jake to raise money for Dr. Dirks’ ependymoma research at Sick Kids. For more information visit ... d-therapy/

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Fri May 23, 2014 8:35 pm

Support swelling for dad with brain tumour

THERE is a wave building in Evans Head, and it's not one you will find at the beach.

It is the swell of support that this small community is giving to the Griffiths family, whose husband and dad Jamie is undergoing treatment for a brain tumour.

In less than a week, Jamie will undergo an operation in an attempt to remove the potentially fatal tumour known as glioblastoma multiforme from his brain.

Money has been donated in a steady stream - nearly $10,000 at the time of writing - with a goal of $60,000 to help cover expenses.

Rani Stainton runs Evans Head Fractal Fitness and all donations to her boot camp class last Wednesday went to the Griffiths family - $110.

"Sometimes you feel helpless when bad things happen to good people," she said.

"This is my way of helping."

The larger-than-normal class had people who didn't even know Jamie but were willing to work out for him.

"I didn't feel like coming this morning," Natalie Lever, of Woodburn, said.

"But I thought Jamie's probably been through much worse, so I'm doing it for him." ... e/2267067/

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Sat May 24, 2014 8:58 pm

Brain tumour teen sets up campaign to help others

A teenager who has been battling a brain tumour for five years has launched a campaign to help others.

Tyler Murphy, 17, was diagnosed with a tumour when he was 12 and has spent the last few years in hospitals across the south east.

Despite still facing his own battle the Barnham teenager has launched his own voluntary group which hands out gifts to sick children to raise their spirits.

He said: “When I was having radiotherapy in Southampton I got the other two children who were on the same ward as me and having the same treatment a comic and a toy and they really loved it. That was what gave me the idea for the gift boxes.

“I want to help children fighting cancer or other diseases to keep going and not give up.

“Even a small present can make a real difference when you are facing months of going in and out of hospital for treatment.”

Tyler’s Trust raises money to buy gift boxes for children. Each is filled with a balloon and a selection of goodies such as a teddy, a bandana, a mug, sweets and a voucher.

The teenager has also produced a DVD for the Brain Tumour Charity to raise awareness of cancer in young people.

Tyler has undergone major treatment at hospitals in Southampton, Chichester and London over the last few years, including an operation to remove his tumour. Experts were unable to remove the entire tumour and Tyler’s eyesight was permanently damaged.

His proud mother Janice added: “It’s been an incredibly difficult time for Tyler and for our family. He’s been through so very much.

“Whenever he has been in hospital getting post or parcels always cheered him up and helped him get through the treatment.

“We want to be able to do something for other children and young people, who are facing the same challenges as Tyler.

“We want to really get Tyler’s Trust off the ground and are looking for any help that people might be able to offer us.

“Maybe there are people out there who want to donate so that we can start making the boxes or a few local businesses, who could offer some corporate sponsorship.

“We would be grateful for any help people can give us.” ... lp_others/

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Sun May 25, 2014 8:53 pm

'They sacrificed an 18-month-old boy because of Budget cuts': Parents of Perth toddler with aggressive brain tumour say Government won't help pay for $200,000 treatment in the U.S

The parents of an 18-month-old boy with an aggressive brain tumour have accused the Federal Government of refusing to fund his much needed treatment because of Budget cuts.

Edwin Ho and wife Rochelle Luk will fly their son Edric to the U.S. on Sunday for targeted proton beam therapy costing $200,000 and have been forced to remortgage their home in Brentwood, Perth so that they can afford it.

'I can't help questioning if our Government sacrificed an 18-month-old boy because of Budget cuts,' Ms Luk told the West Australian.

A Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital radiation oncologist and Edric's parents claim the therapy is the toddler's best chance of survival, but the government says he should have the more standard treatment that is already available in Australia.

The family says pleas for funding from the Federal Health Department's Medical Treatment Overseas Program have been rejected.

And that they have been forced to borrow from friends and family to get their son treated at the University of Florida.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health told MailOnline that the decision not to fund the overseas treatment came from a 'preliminary assessment which at this stage denies the treatment'.

'One of the main criteria for treatment overseas is that it can't be performed in Australia. Patients with the same condition are currently being treated in Australia,' she said.

'If doctors or the family can come back with further information before a final decision is made then it will be considered.'

However, the family claim the conformal photon radiotherapy treatment being offered to them in Australia has 'horrible side effects'.

Little Edric, who has already had a tumour half the size of his brain removed in an operation, has also been recommended for the special treatment abroad by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

He is suffering from an anaplastic ependymoma - a tumour that forms when cells in the central nervous system (in his case the brain) begin to multiple rapidly.

The experts said the best treatment for Edric was unavailable in Australia and other treatments delivered much bigger areas of low dose radiation to brain tissue that could be harmful.

Describing the moment they found out Edric was seriously ill, his father Edwin told Seven News: 'He was normal one week and paralysed the next.'

At 18-months, he stopped walking and lost the use of his right hand.

'It was devastating. It was the worst nightmare of a parent,' his mother Rochelle said.

The hospitals who have been treating Edric in Australia so far - the Sir Charles Gairdner and Princess Margaret hospitals - said they would appeal against the decision not to fund his overseas treatment. ... t-U-S.html

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Mon May 26, 2014 10:25 pm

The next revolution in cancer treatment

Personalised medicine: it is not only a global biotech buzz phrase but is revolutionising the way patients are treated for cancer.

Professor Mathew Vadas, executive director of the Centenary Institute medical research centre at Sydney University, says personalised medicine is creating excitement because it helps doctors to know whether patients will respond positively to a drug before it is administered.

“The big deal with personal medicine is that no two people are alike and no two diseases are alike,” Vadas says.

“In cancer medicine, it means not having toxic drugs that you know will not help you. The selection of drugs to patients is genuinely exciting."

The cutting-edge technology has had a personal impact on Vadas.

“My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer at age almost 90 . . . and because of personalised medicine they found a drug specifically for that [type of cancer], so she was able to take the right drug with very little toxicity," he says. "Five years ago she'd either have taken something really toxic or be dead.”

Vadas says the technology is changing the business model for the pharmaceutical industry.

“Before, you made a drug and you had to give it to all 100 people and 30 people benefited, and you made 100 sales,” he says.

Personalised medicine can determine whether someone will respond positively to the treatment in advance. If only 30 people will benefit, the company will make only 30 sales.

“So the population you can sell the drug to has decreased, but the effectiveness of the people you sell to has increased,” Vadas says.

Dr Alan Taylor, a scientist and former investment banker, is now executive chairman of the Australian company Clarity Pharmaceuticals. Last month Clarity raised $1.1 million to further commercialise its personalised medicine companion diagnostic research.

Clarity developed the technology to tag an antibody and track where it goes in a patient's body.

“If it binds to the cancer, that suggests the drug will be effective for that individual patient. If it doesn't bind, the drug isn't going to be effective,” Taylor says.

Two key benefits arise, he says. First, it increases safety and reduces cost by only treating patients with a drug that will be effective for them. Second, it increases the likelihood of drugs getting through clinical trials because the drug is only trialled on patients who are responsive to the drug.

Taylor invested $200,000 of his own funds in the $1.1 million capital raising. He began work as an investment banker after completing a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology and saw his main role as a banker to bring US life sciences companies to Australia. He would raise $80 million to $100 million to list them on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Then Taylor wanted to see more Australian science researchers become successful. “There were a couple of success stories on the Australian market, but quite frankly I was sick of hearing about ResMed and Cochlear. They're fantastic companies but that was 20 years ago.

“Australia has not had a great track record in commercialising science.”

Taylor led the capital raising for Clarity, which was oversubscribed. “The reason it went so well is because Clarity is at the forefront of where medicine is going, and that is personalised medicine,” he says.

Dr Alex Vadas, managing director of the diagnostic and personalised medicine group L.E.K. Consulting in Los Angeles, gained a PhD in chemical engineering. He says personalised medicine heralds a sea change in research and is turning the global market on its head.

“It's still very new," he says. "Five years ago, a lot of people [in the pharmaceutical industry] were scratching their head, saying: 'Do we really want to do this? It's going to fragment our market. I'm used to making drugs for everybody. I don't like the idea that there might be a test that will take patients off my addressable market'.

“But people are slowly realising that you can build a credible business in this area: 'Wow, if our drug works many times better than another drug but in a very defined population, that's an attractive proposition'.”

Most of the research taking place is with cancer drugs for late-stage disease, Alex Vadas says.

The global market for personalised cancer drugs in 2013 was $US19 billion to $US20 billion ($21.3 billion), he says, though the market was much smaller for the companion diagnostic tests associated with those drugs. “Probably a few hundred million worldwide,” he says.

The big business will come when personalised drugs and their companion diagnostic tests evolve from late-stage cancer to large chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer's, he says.

The potential for growth is enormous. “Right now we're at the little brick stage," he says. "We're not even close to building the house.” ... 38bln.html

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Thu May 29, 2014 3:50 pm

Was the air in 737 planes toxic? Campaigners for late pilot Scott Wickland think so

VIRGIN pilot Scott Wickland left behind a wife and two toddlers when he died of a brain tumour, aged just 43.

Campaigners believe his cancer was caused by toxic fumes on aircraft and his family want answers.

“Scott breathed in fumes from the jets every time he did a walk-around check of the plane. I am sure that’s what killed him,” his heartbroken brother Mark Wickland said.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report has ­revealed passengers and crew on Australian aircraft were ­exposed to toxic fumes more than 1000 times over the past five years. Several times crew had to divert flights or make emergency landings because of the fumes.

International research has shown increased rates of brain cancer among pilots and breast cancer among cabin crew, with one of the key links being exposure to organophosphates that are contained in jet oil fumes from badly maintained engines.

Former pilot Dr Susan Michaelis, now Global Cabin Air Quality Executive head of research, had to stop flying ­because of exposure to fumes in the cockpit of BAe146 aircraft, which are flown in Australia by a number of airlines.

“When I heard about Scott it was sadly no surprise to me,” she said.

“My research has found clusters of pilots with brain cancer in the UK. They were mostly flying short-haul journeys.”

Mr Wickland flew Boeing 737 aircraft on short-haul flights from his base in Brisbane, averaging about 700 flying hours a year for 11 years after joining the airline as one of its first and most respected pilots. He died in 2012, within six months of being ­diagnosed with the tumour.

ATSB figures show 393 fumes exposures on 737s in Australia in the five years to October 2013.

The report for the previous five years showed that the 737 was responsible for almost 30 per cent of all fume exposures on Australian aircraft.

“The way the engines are designed means crew and passengers are exposed to hazardous fumes,” Dr Michaelis said.

“These have both short- and long-term health impacts including cancer.”

Mr Wickland’s brother believes the exposure can trigger a cancer gene in some people. “There needs to be more ­research done,” he said.

“Pilots need to know that if they have the gene and are exposed to the fumes then they are a dead man walking.”

A Virgin Australia spokesman said: “The safety of our team members is the number one priority for Virgin Australia. We have a team of medical professionals who are responsible for ensuring the health and welfare of our crews across the world, underpinned by a stringent health and ­safety system.

“We continually review our procedures.” ... 6933753586

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Fri May 30, 2014 9:23 pm

Brain tumour survivor Trevor Harrison to run Ottawa Spring Sprint

Four years after suffering a massive seizure while playing touch football, Trevor Harrison returned to the same field to play his first game since discovering he had a brain tumour.

“It was pretty emotional. It felt good, I made a nice catch and we won the game,” says the 27-year-old legislative assistant to Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland.

In September 2010, Harrison collapsed on a field at Brookfield High School, and by the time he regained consciousness three to four minutes later, he was surrounded by Ottawa firefighters and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. After a series of scans, which lead to surgery and a biopsy, he learned he had a non-malignant brain tumour.

“Since my tumour was really slow-growing and any type of brain surgery is risky, they decided to monitor it and put me on anti-seizure medication. After the doctors noticed a difference in size from an MRI in May and later in December 2012, my radiation oncologist said I needed surgery.”

Dr. John Sinclair of the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus performed the nine-hour surgery in April 2013. When pathology showed that a small portion of the tumour was malignant, Harrison was told he would require radiation and chemotherapy.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the tumour was removed but there was concern about what was left. It took me about 36 hours to come to terms with it and then I was totally fine. I just wanted to get started and thankfully there were no complications,” says the Barrhaven native who attended Merivale High School and the University of Ottawa.

Every day, it is estimated that 27 Canadians learn they have a brain tumour, according to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. To help raise awareness and fund research into the disease, the foundation, which receives no government funding, relies on a series of events, including Spring Sprints, which are held in 19 cities throughout the country. Funds raised by participants in Ottawa go toward funding patient programs such as the Ottawa Support Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of each month at the Maplesoft Centre and education events like the annual Ottawa Brain Tumour Information Day. The Ottawa Spring Sprint began in 1995 and has raised more than $630,000.

Harrison is a member of “Team Grey Matters,” which was started by his brother Chris and includes his parents John and Karen Harrison, girlfriend Kaisha Thompson and many others. The group is lacing up for the Ottawa Spring Sprint’s walk and fun run on June 1 at Andrew Haydon Park.

“My brother helped organize the team two years ago. The first year we raised $5,000. Last year I was much more motivated and able and raised $17,000. I was the top individual fundraiser in the country.”

Since his surgery, Harrison has received an MRI every three months. He celebrated yet another clean scan on May 1.

“In the past couple of weeks, I’ve played softball, gone for a short run and played touch football. Going back to where it all began was quite something. I can’t believe what has happened since then.” ... ing-sprint

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:34 pm

Lewis Moody to launch charitable foundation

Foundation will help families affected by serious illness, offering days out and one-off experiences for children and their families as well as funding scientific research through The Brain Tumour Charity, aimed at saving young lives.

And today at the Aviva Premiership Rugby a collection will take place at Twickenham Stadium to raise funds for the Foundation.

If you'd like to contribute to the Lewis Moody Foundation text MOODY to 70060 to donate £5*

The idea was born two years ago, after 2003 World Cup-winner Lewis met gifted young rugby player Joss Rowley Stark. Joss, who lived in Rotherham and played for Sheffield RUFC, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2012. He died in 2013 at the age of 16.

During Joss's battle with the disease, Lewis was contacted by a friend of the teenager's and subsequently travelled to Yorkshire to meet him and his family on several occasions.

Lewis said: "Joss showed astonishing courage and determination, even when he was in terrible pain and enduring the most gruelling treatment.

"I felt very privileged to be a part of those last few months Joss spent with his family, and to have helped create some precious memories that will live on with all of us who were there.

"I learned from meeting Joss that when a child is seriously ill, anything that lifts a family out of their daily routine and allows them to spend time together doing something special can have a lasting impact."

Lewis and his wife Annie, who have two young sons, also want the foundation to raise awareness of life-limiting illnesses in children and help develop more effective treatments.

With that aim in mind, the foundation will work alongside The Brain Tumour Charity to fund cutting-edge cancer research projects. Brain tumours kill more children and young adults in the UK than any other single type of cancer and survival rates have not improved significantly in the last 40 years.

Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: "So many of the families who turn to us for support think about nothing except the health of their child, day in, day out. The chance to step off that treadmill for a few hours - to do something completely different and perhaps to meet an inspirational figure like Lewis - is a huge relief.

"And of course we are absolutely delighted that Lewis and Annie have chosen, through The Lewis Moody Foundation, to support the research we are driving into better brain tumour treatments and - ultimately - a cure."

Lewis and Annie have pledged to raise £5 million through the foundation by 2018.

Lewis said: "We know it's a huge target so we are really hoping that as many people as possible get behind us - individuals, sports clubs, schools, companies - to help us achieve our goal and make real difference to children with serious illnesses."

The Lewis Moody Foundation also has the support of leading paediatric cancer specialist Antony Michalski, who said: "Every day I see the devastating impact serious illness has on young families. The Lewis Moody Foundation will be able to make a real difference through days out for these families, giving them much-needed time together and, through funding research into brain tumours, helping to tackle the biggest cause of cancer deaths in children." ... 4sA4BW4xpA

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:18 pm

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's Super Josh! Brave Bury teen's brain tumour battle inspires mum to launch charity

A brave Bury mum has set up a charity after her son was left partially blind and disabled following intrusive surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Dawn Fidler left her job as in sales and marketing last year to set up the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity, affectionately known as the SuperJosh Charity, to help other parents in her situation.

The charity operates mainly through social media, boasting nearly 40,000 Twitter followers, and has already made a real impact on people around the world who offer support and fundraising donations.

Dawn told MM: “I think the charity connects with people because it’s a boy, a real boy, not just charity. Josh is there and he’s talking about what he’s doing at school and what he’s been up to.

“There are people who log on at morning and tea time to see what he’s been doing, and they could tell you what classes he’s got tomorrow, because they’ve remembered. It’s like a real life family on Twitter.”

Ten years ago, Josh Wilson was a normal three-year-old, but after doctors found a life threatening brain tumour he was rushed into surgery.

After the operation Josh was in a coma for six weeks, and due to the location of the brain stem, when he came round he was partially blind and disabled, battling epilepsy, scoliosis and joint problems.

Now 13, Josh’s tumour is classed as frozen at present, but sadly Josh’s spine is severely deformed, which is affecting his lungs meaning a chest infection could kill him.

Because his spine condition is so severe he can’t have certain medicine and is unable to have surgery, which Dawn confesses makes her feel helpless at times.

She said: “The fact that I can’t help my son, I can’t fix him, is something I can’t even put into words. It’s heart breaking, but its him who inspires me and the charity allows me to help other children.

“We do know we’re on borrowed time now, but Josh is so empowered by his charity and it’s what keeps him going too.”

Despite his disabilities, Josh’s mind is still fully functioning and he is still just ‘a typical cheeky 13-year-old’ who loves football, rugby, music, animals and is obsessed with anything Marvel or DC.

Josh’s time is split between his mum and his dad Colin, and after his surgery they found themselves in a difficult position as government funding only covered the cost of one home modification.

This led them on a fundraising journey in a bid to raise enough money to afford the modification for both houses.

Over the last 10 years, £60,000 has been raised by the public which has helped pay for cars, wheelchairs and home modifications that improve his quality of life.

More than £25,000 of that money was raised off the back of a Gangnam-style video featuring of officers from the Prestwich and Whitefield Neighbourhood Policing Team, Chief Constable Peter Fahy and the cast of Scott & Bailey.

The video received 55,000 views and helped them raise funds that could have potentially taken years.

Dawn said: “I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received since Joshua was first diagnosed, I was inspired, and what was why I set up the charity.

“I saw how much support we had received from the beginning and I wanted to do that for others, I think they like the fact that they’re speaking to a family rather than a professional.

“I‘m not surprised by the number of families in my situation because I’ve been in that world for 10 years. I know how many children do actually live with a brain tumour and how devastating it can be. But that’s the driver.”

Since launching in August last year the Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity has gone from strength to strength.

In the first year they hoped to raise £50,000, but had already raised £53,000 by January, the goal now is to try and raise £100,000 in time for the charity’s first birthday.

The SuperJosh Charity does not have a list on the website of what they help with as families can just get in touch if they need support in anyway.

Dawn said: “If a family needed help but looked at the website and thought they weren’t in a certain criteria so didn’t get in touch with us I’d be gutted.”

If any child goes into hospital with a brain tumour the foundation will give the family a grant of £200 to help them manage with the costs of overnight stays and hospital visits, they can also assist in any other financial difficulties that parents may potentially come up against.

The charity does not just work with families though, they also help people and places that have been in contact with them along Joshua’s journey.

Dawn said: “In Manchester Children’s Hospital and Bolton Hospital, because we’ve been in those hospitals, and we’ve seen that the telly was broken, the kids have no DVDs and the Xbox and games had been stolen.

“So we’ve been putting these packages in place, and when we were back at the hospital with Josh in March we saw children playing with the things we donated, how magic is that?”

She added: “Going in and out of hospital for 10 years we know that kids need entertainment or they’ll go insane.”

The charity is currently working with hospitals in Oldham and Wythenshawe to provide something similar, and hope to ensure that all hospitals in the Manchester area have got what they need to keep children who spend a lot of time in hospital happy.

The symbol for the charity is a thumbs up and those who help the charity are known as thumbraisers.

“Josh signs to communicate, and a thumbs up means yes so we incorporated that into the logo as it’s a really positive thing and has the same meaning wherever you go” Dawn said.

It’s fortunate that the symbol is international, because Josh has fans and followers in all four corners of the world with people as far flung as Australia showing support. ... spires-mum

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Re: New therapies improving survival in patients with GBM

Post by kenobewan » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:19 pm

The Cramptons of Carindale share their story about life with son Wyatt’s rare brain tumour

WYATT Crampton looks like any other toddler playing with his four-year-old brother Oscar and parents Kellie and Ray.

But, for the Carindale two-year-old, life has been a battle of chemotherapy, radiation and three major surgeries to treat an ependymoma, a rare brain tumour in the back of his head.

Mum Kellie said it was now a waiting game to see whether the tumour which was unable to be safely removed by surgery, would continue to shrink after radiotherapy treatment.

“We really are just waiting,” she said.

“We did radiation at the end of last year and it’s shrunk a bit of the tumour,” she said.

“It’s shrunk nearly half ... that’s the best outcome we could expect.

“We’re just sitting back and waiting whether it will shrink some more or whether the radiation will wear off, and seeing what treatments (are) available.”

Mrs Crampton said despite the hardships, Wyatt’s positivity and determination shone through.

“He just started walking after he turned two. Now he’s been standing up,” she said.

“He’s just had quite a lot of balance issues. He walks independently now … he’s very determined.

“He doesn’t see out of one of his eyes (but) otherwise he’s really happy and plays with his brother, and we just try and do as much as we can.”

She said support from The Brainchild Foundation and Mater and Brisbane Royal Children’s hospitals has been a huge help for them.

“Last year was a bit of a black hole and this year is better. For me it’s just getting to our next MRI and getting a clear scan this time next year.” ... 6942838947

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