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Immunotherapy, Targeted Molecular Therapies Among Promising New Treatments for Brain Tumors
Date:7/25/2014

herapies, specifically check-point inhibitors.

Crediting immunologists for their work to understand why cancer patients don’t mount an effective immune response, Dr. Wen says, “We are suddenly seeing a lot of excitement in immunotherapy because the same drugs that produced dramatic results for patients with melanoma and lung cancer are now being tested in brain tumor patients.”

Immunotherapy uses the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells stimulating the immune system to turn against a tumor. The most exciting advances, according to Dr. Wen, is research involving check-point inhibitors which are antibodies that block some of the mechanisms that make the immune system not function as it should. The theory is that if researchers can block these checkpoints, then the body will mount an immune response to attack the cancer cells.

“There is significant momentum surrounding our understanding of the biological differences in tumors from patient to patient,” said Elizabeth M. Wilson, MNA, president & CEO, American Brain Tumor Association. “This research is forming the basis for what will ultimately become a personalized medical approach to treating brain tumors, and the American Brain Tumor Association is proud to be a leader in encouraging and funding innovative approaches like this in brain tumor treatment.”

While it may be years before any of these therapies become integrated into standard treatment, clinical trials are important for advancing medical knowledge and patient care. For more information on clinical trials, go to the ABTA’s TrialConnect® at http://www.abtatrialconnect.org.

ABOUT THE ABTA PATIENT AND FAMILY CONFERENCE
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