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IBTA e-News

The monthly bulletin for our
international brain tumour community

September 2015

Treatment news

Radiotherapy appears to cause progressive brain volume loss in the weeks after treatment

A study of 14 glioblastoma patients has shown that radiotherapy appears to cause progressive brain volume loss continuing for several weeks after treatment ceased. Published in Neurology, the authors suggest that further research is needed to identify how mental functions are affected by these changes. Read more.

Complete tumour resection offers better survival in atypical and malignant meningioma

An analysis of 639 patient records has found that gross total resection (complete removal of visible tumour) is linked to better survival in patients with atypical (Grade II) and malignant (Grade III) meningioma, compared with sub-total resection. The 5 year survival was 91.3% vs 78.2% for atypical meningioma and 64.5% vs 41.1% for malignant meningioma. Read more.

Cognitive rehabilitation may help brain tumour patients with epilepsy

A pilot study published in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology has shown that cognitive rehabilitation training (RehabTr) appears to improve mental capabilities in brain tumour patients with epilepsy. Six months after a 10 week RehabTr course, the 16 brain tumour patients in the study had sustained improvement in cognitive functioning and/or memory. Read more.

Research roundup

Being overweight and inactive increases risk of meningioma, study suggests

A study published in Neurology has shown a statistical link between higher body mass (BMI) and meningioma diagnosis. The analysis of 12 studies, comprising a total of 6039 meningioma and glioma patients, supports previous findings that overweight women are at increased risk of meningioma diagnosis while also suggesting that the same may be true for men. High physical activity appears to reduce meningioma risk, while no BMI associations were found with glioma diagnosis. Read more.

European trial opens for patients with recurrent grade II or III meningioma

Patients with recurrent meningioma (grades II and III) are now being invited to take part in a randomised trial that examines the use of the drug trabectedin. The trial is coordinated by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Brain Tumor Group and is now recruiting in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Read more. (EORTC trial 1320 details here.)

‘Double therapy’ in glioblastoma treatment

Treating glioblastoma with the chemotherapy drug decitabine (used for acute myeloid leukaemia and other cancers) followed by adoptive T cell therapy (a type of immunotherapy) has been shown to be effective in tests on mice, according to a study published in Neuro-Oncology. Decitabine triggers glioblastoma cells to express NY-ESO-1 (New York–esophageal squamous cell carcinoma) which is then targeted by genetically ‘reprogrammed’ T cells. Read more.

Changes in immune system may occur years before glioma diagnosis

An international team of researchers has found that levels of specific allergy-related proteins (cytokines), and the way they interact, appear to change in the months preceding the diagnosis of glioma. Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the detectable changes were most apparent in the five years prior to diagnosis and support previous findings suggesting that allergies lower glioma risk. Read more.

Rhenium-186 clinical trial in glioblastoma shows first results

Researchers at The Cancer Therapy & Research Center, Texas, USA, are trialling a therapy that uses rhenium-186 encased in nano-sized particles (liposomes). The encapsulated radioactive isotope is injected directly into the glioblastoma tumour mass via a catheter, leading to tumour destruction. Early results suggest that high radiation doses delivered in this way can be used effectively with minimal side effects. Read more. (Watch a presentation of the first results here.)

Childhood brain tumour survivors at increased risk of recurrent stroke

Research published in Neurology has found that survivors of childhood brain tumours, particularly those treated with high-dose radiation therapy, have a higher risk of stroke for decades after a first stroke. High blood pressure (hypertension) in these patients was identified as an additional risk factor for recurrent stroke. Read more.

Existing anti-inflammatory drug may have potential as medulloblastoma treatment

Research published in eLife has proposed that roflumilast, a drug currently used in inflammatory lung conditions, may be an effective treatment in childhood medulloblastoma. The lab-based study showed that roflumilast acts on the Hedgehog (Hh) communication system within medulloblastoma cells to reduce their growth. Read more.

A step forward for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT)

Boron neutron capture therapy is an experimental radiotherapy technique designed to deliver radiation damage specifically to tumour tissue. An injected non-radioactive agent (containing boron-10) localises to brain tumour tissue such that, when exposed to a beam of epithermal neutron radiation, the agent emits damaging radiation into the tumour. Researchers from Japan have developed a boron compound (BSH-3R) that appears to target brain tumour cells more effectively than existing boron-10 agents. Read more.

SurVaxM vaccine for newly diagnosed glioblastoma moves to phase II trial

Following a successful eight patient phase I trial, fifty patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma are now being recruited to take part in a phase II trial of the SurVaxM vaccine (company website) in New York, USA. Given alongside temozolomide, the vaccine stimulates the immune system to target the survivin molecule, which is present on tumour cells. Read more. (Clinical trial details here.)

Society news

New officers of Society for Neuro-Oncology appointed

The IBTA sends warm congratulations to the new officers of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO): E Antonio Chiocca is the new President; Terri Armstrong is Vice President; Gelareh Zadeh is Treasurer/Secretary and the Radiology Representative is Whitney Pope.  The new officers will assume their positions at the conclusion of the annual SNO meeting in San Antonio in November. Find out more about SNO here (organisation's website).

Company news

Specialised Therapeutics’ GLIOLAN set to illuminate brain tumours in New Zealand

Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, has approved GLIOLAN (aminolevulinic acid HCl) for marketing and distribution in New Zealand. The drug is given orally three hours before surgery and allows surgeons to visualise malignant tissue via a microscope fitted with a specialised blue light. A previously published phase III trial has shown use of this technology improves tumour resection and progression-free survival. Read more (company website).

Delmar Pharmaceuticals presents phase I/II clinical data for VAL-083 (dianhydrogalactitol) in refractory glioblastoma

Preliminary data analysis for a multicentre trial of VAL-083 (dianhydrogalactitol), an ‘N7-bifunctional DNA alkylating’ chemotherapeutic agent, has been presented at GBM2015: 2nd International Symposium on Clinical and Basic Investigation in Glioblastoma in Toledo, Spain. Sixteen patients who failed both bevacizumab (Avastin) and temozolomide appear to have improved survival with higher doses of VAL-083. A Phase 2 expansion cohort of up to 14 patients has been initiated. Read more (company press release).

Trials of mipsagargin to be expanded for glioblastoma, Genspera announces

Genspera has reported “impressive” results from interim data of a phase II trial of mipsagargin (G-202) – a thapsigargin derivative that is coupled to a peptide that helps the agent enter tumour cells. Based on data from this trial of adult recurrent or progressive glioblastoma patients, the company intends to expand trials. Read more (company press release).

‘Positive results’ for Ziopharm Oncology study of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells

Preclinical data shows that engineered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are effective in targeting and destroying tumour cells that have high levels of the protein EGFR, a feature of many brain tumour cells. Read more (news report based on company press release).

Clinical trial of EnGeneIC’s targeted EDV nanocells in glioblastoma to commence

EDV nanocells are a ‘nanoparticle drug’ developed by EnGeneIC that are designed to target and destroy tumour cells while stimulating the immune system to attack the tumour. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted an application for investigational new drug status and trials of EDV nanocells are due to start recruiting patients in late 2015. Read more (company press release).


Don't forget to join us in the #IBTAWorldWalk! Register and report your walk for 'Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours' 2015

Many thanks to all those organisations around the globe who have already let us know about their walks taking place throughout this year and who have registered with us to donate their symbolic mileage to the IBTA’s "Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours". Please be sure to register your walks for this year by going to the IBTA website and completing the register/report form here. And share what you have achieved and follow others’ progress via Twitter with the hashtag #IBTAWorldWalk.

We also want to hear all about those walks that have already taken place since January and to receive the symbolic mileage ‘donation’ from these.  Please visit the IBTA website where you will find a form for registering and/or reporting your walk, plus information on where to send photographs. Last year we raised awareness of brain tumours by symbolically encircling the world nearly thirteen times - wouldn’t it be great if we can walk even further in 2015?

Get ready for the 2015 International Brain Tumour Awareness Week - #IBTAWeek

The 9th International Brain Tumour Awareness Week will be held from Sunday, 25th October to Saturday, 31st October. We'd be delighted if you would organise an activity that will contribute to increased awareness about brain tumours.
It could be a walk (see above), a picnic, an information seminar, a scientific conference, or the distribution of a statement to local media which draws attention to the particular challenges of a brain tumour and the need for a special response and an increased research effort. Share what is going on and keep in touch via Twitter with the hashtag #IBTAWeek. For further details of the International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, including a list of FAQS, please click here.
Please register/report your Awareness Week activity by completing this form.

Please tell us your organisation’s news!

We warmly invite the IBTA’s collaborating brain tumour patient organisations to keep us up-to-date with their news.  Please let us know what your organisation is doing to advocate for better brain tumour care and support so that we can share information about your activities via this e-News, to inform and inspire others in our international community.

And in other news...

How to light up a brain tumour

An article published on the Guardian Online website offers a thorough and engaging account of ‘tumour paint’ technology, explaining the principles behind the technique and the individuals who have been instrumental in its development. It is anticipated that these methods for visualising brain tumour tissue during surgery will improve resection outcomes. Read more.

Upcoming Conferences - October/November

Keep up to date with future scientific conferences and events on the IBTA website conferences page here.

5th Annual Brain Metastases Research and Emerging Therapies Conference
2-3 October 2015
Marseille, France
47th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP)
8-11 October 2015
Cape Town, South Africa
The European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) 2015 Annual Meeting
18-21 October 2015
Madrid, Spain
8th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Co-operative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO)
23-24 October 2015
Brisbane, Australia


20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO 2015)
19-22 November 2015
San Antonio, Texas, USA
If you are aware of a brain tumour-relevant conference - including any patient conferences that we have not yet listed on the IBTA website then please let us know.

IBTA Website
IBTA Website


Who we are

The International Brain Tumour Alliance was established in 2005. It is a network of support, advocacy and information groups representing brain tumour patients and carers in different countries and also includes researchers, scientists, clinicians and allied health professionals who work in the field of brain tumours.
For more information, please visit  


Tell us what you think!

We love to hear from you if you have any news that you would like to share with the IBTA community. Just send us an email:
We will do our best to relay as much information as possible to our subscribers via this monthly newsletter and our website. The selection of e-News entries is at the sole discretion of the editors.
Copyright © 2015 The International Brain Tumour Alliance, All rights reserved.


The International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA) makes every effort to be accurate regarding the information contained in this e-News (or in any documents, reports, notes or other material produced for and on behalf of the IBTA to which we provide a link in this e-News).  However, the IBTA accepts no liability for any inaccuracies or omissions herein nor can it accept liability for any loss or damage resulting from any inaccuracy in this information or third party information such as information on websites to which we link. The information contained in this e-News is for educational purposes only and should in no way be taken as a substitute for medical care nor is the information on the IBTA website meant to constitute medical advice or professional services. For medical care and advice, please contact your doctor.

Other websites linked from the IBTA e-News are not under the control of the IBTA. Therefore we take no responsibility for their content. The IBTA has provided these links as a convenience to you and can in no way verify the information, quality, safety or suitability of linked websites.

Any company sponsorship of the IBTA's projects does not imply the IBTA's endorsement of any particular form or forms of therapy, treatment regimen or behaviour. (For further details of our sponsors, please see our Sponsorship Policy).

The views and opinions in the materials included in this e-News may not necessarily be those of the International Brain Tumour Alliance.

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