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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Weekly pick of Neuroscience news from around the world

To begin this week’s update we have two press releases from pharmaceutical companies;

The first one reports on a randomised, phase 3 clinical study evaluating the gene therapy, Toca 5 in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma but declares that the trial did not achieve the primary aim of improving overall survival compared to standard-of-care treatment. 

In the second Bristol Myers Squibb ( BMS) researchers have been evaluating the addition of Opdivo (nivolumab) to the current standard of care (temozolomide and radiation therapy) versus the standard of care alone. Again, in this trial the study did not meet one of its primary endpoints, progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme that is O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT)-methylated.

Both outcomes could be seen as disappointing but it is important to remember that a failed clinical trial is one where nothing is learnt and what has been found not to work here will help us getting closer to finding out what does.

A Canadian paper on the ketogenic diet for glioma patients is reported on here with encouraging conclusion that a modified Atkins diet is feasible and safe for glioma patients during radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

Funding levels for research into Leukaemia and the subsequent improvement in prognosis and survival rates motivate Brain Tumour Research to campaign for funding parity so brain tumour patients can have similar potential for improved options and outcomes. An interesting overlap is reported on here as a leukaemia drug shows promise for treating a childhood brain cancer

During this blustery weekend our minds might wander to the promise of Spring and what could be more spring like than daffodils - Anti-cancer compound for brain cancer found in daffodils.

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