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

Industry news but it’s really all about people - Worldwide research update

As a patient advocate for Brain Tumour Research, Philip Scard reads our weekly research news update with interest and was surprised to read in a June update that his very tumour type was having research conducted into it in the US by the company he was working for in the UK! Of course, he made enquiries and you can read more about Philip and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Oncomine Dx Precision Test in this blog – please note we are still based in Milton Keynes but Philip felt a London location would make more sense in a US blog – I think he’s right.

It is nearly all industry news this week continuing  with AstraZeneca saying Tagrisso has been shown to slow lung cancer spreading to the brain. A study with patients diagnosed early enough for the lung tumour to be surgically removed, and who have a mutation of the EGFR gene, found that Tagrisso cut the risk of developing brain metastases by 82%.

Immunomedics announce encouraging early-stage clinical results with Trodelvy including partial responses in small cohort of patients with brain metastasis from breast cancer  and recurrent glioblastoma  the conclusion is that these early clinical results warrant further development of Trodelvy and it’s potential as a brain tumour therapeutic

Quite a data heavy piece next as Lenvantinib and Pembrolizumab induce responses across advanced solid tumours in 31 patients with second-line glioblastoma multiforme. This item is particularly useful to get an understanding of clinical trial indicators such as ORR (objective response rate),RANO (response assessment in neuro-oncology) criteria, BICR (blinded independent central review). primary end points and key secondary end points including DCR(disease control rate), DOR(duration of response) and PFS(progression-free survival).

Have a look at the new nonsurgical radiation therapy for brain tumours, the Zap-X which uses “uses gyroscopic motion to direct radio surgical beams from hundreds of angles to precisely pinpoint radiation to both cancerous tumours and benign conditions in the brain.”

Gliomas are graded on a scale of 1-4 depending on their location in the brain and the ability to spread to other parts. This fascinating international collaboration has  designed a machine-learning algorithm to identify the grade of glioma with high accuracy.

Finishing up this week we return to human stories and the work of  Masaki Terabe, Ph.D. Current research ideas in Dr Terabe’s lab include a focus on natural killer T-cells (NKT cells).They are a unique component that can be recruited to tumours to attack and/or help other immune cells to destroy malignant cells, and Dr. Terabe hopes to translate his knowledge on NKT-cells to new cancer treatments that can help patients combat brain tumours more effectively.

I’m sure we all wish him well.

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