NF2 Research and Media News in 2014

  • ‘Open science’ could open doors for pharma

    Posted:Wed, 24 Dec 2014 09:30:00 EST
    When Johnson & Johnson agreed to make its clinical trial data available to outside parties through the Yale School of Medicine, proponents billed it as a victory for transparency in drug research. Those same advocates of so-called “open science” hope it will encourage more pharma companies to do the same.
  • Sunitinib appeared active in meningioma

    Posted:Wed, 24 Dec 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Sunitinib appeared effective in patients with recurrent atypical and malignant meningioma, according to results of a prospective, multicenter, phase 2 trial. Because no effective treatment for patients with surgery- and radiation-refractory meningiomas, the findings suggest a randomized trial should be performed to evaluate sunitinib in this setting, researchers wrote. Sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer) — a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor — targets the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor, both of which are prevalent in meningiomas.
  • NF2 Genetic disorder afflicts large Clinton family

    Posted:Wed, 24 Dec 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Francis Barrette died in 1990 of throat cancer, some 21 years before a devastating diagnosis came to light of an illness that affects 11 members of his extended family ranging in age from 3 to 52 years old. So far, that includes three of his children, as well as some of his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. The disease is called neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, a genetic disorder known for uncontrolled growth of non-cancerous tumors in a person’s nervous system.
  • Are we helping people with disabilities the right way?

    Posted:Wed, 24 Dec 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Not too long ago, I worked with an artist, Kristina Diaz, on “Unwavering Truth: Archive of Our Own”, an exhibition she was putting together at the Queens Museum in New York. Diaz, who lives with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 or NF2 approached me – as she wanted to include the poems of a Malaysian NF2er, my late partner Keisha Petrus.
  • $15 Million for Neurofibromatosis Research!

    Posted:Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:30:00 EST
    On December 9, 2014, House appropriators released the text of an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2015 that provides complete funding for 11 annual appropriations bills through Sept. 30, 2015. The Defense portion of the bill included $15 million for the Army’s Neurofibromatosis Research Program.
  • (Video) Symposium 2014: Merlin/NF2 Inhibits RAS Tumorigenesis Through YAP

    Posted:Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Dr. James A. Fagin of Memorial Sloan Kettering describes mechanisms underlying signaling downstream of RAS proteins. Click CC button for captioning.
  • (Abstract) Evidence of polyclonality in neurofibromatosis type 2–associated multilobulated vestibular schwannomas

    Posted:Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is a tumor syndrome that results from mutation of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene. The hallmark of NF2 is the presence of bilateral vestibular schwannoma (VS). Though NF2-associated and sporadic VS share identical histopathologic findings and cytogenetic alterations, NF2-associated VS often appears multilobulated, is less responsive to radiosurgery, and has worse surgical outcomes. Temporal bone autopsy specimens and MRI of the inner ear performed on NF2 patients suggest that multiple discrete tumors may be present within the labyrinth and cerebellopontine angle.
  • Northwestern Medicine Surgeons Using New Adaptive Hybrid Technology

    Posted:Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Radiosurgery-guided procedure could offer hope for patients with benign and cancerous brain tumors. It started with numbness on the left side of his face. A few months later, Steve Mores couldn’t feel his tongue or chew on the left side of his mouth. TV commercials featuring food or even being in a grocery store made him nauseous. Northwestern Medicine neurosurgeons are spearheading new adaptive hybrid surgery technology to help patients like Mores. Participating in a phase 1 research study, Mores was one of the first subjects in the United States to have a brain tumor removed using this technology that integrates a radiosurgery plan into surgery.
  • An Interview with Dominique Lallemand

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:30:00 EST
    The Asociación Mundial de Afectados de Neurofibromatosis 2 (AMANDOS) hosted a Q and A session with Dominique Lallemand, a scientist working on NF2, through Twitter. In this compilation of questions and answers, Dominique Lallemand clarifies and develops the processes of persistent concern among the affected: how can research be carried out and processed into treatment.
  • (Abstract) The effect of bevacizumab on vestibular schwannoma tumour size and hearing in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression level in NF2 correlates with tumour growth rate and bevacizumab, a VEGF-binding antibody, has previously been shown to induce tumour shrinkage and improve hearing. We retrospectively reviewed the effect of bevacizumab on hearing and VS tumour size in 12 consecutive NF2 patients.
  • (Video) Unwavering Truth: Archive of Our Own, NF2 Art Exhibit

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 08:30:00 EST
    This captioned video takes a look behind the artists’ lives of the Unwavering Truth, NF2 Art Exhibit. Unwavering Truth was premiered at the Queens Museum Exhibit, NY, of the same name on November 15th. The Exhibit runs until December 31st 2014. Visit Queen Museum for more info.
  • ‘Off switch’ for pain discovered: Activating the adenosine A3 receptor subtype is key to powerful pain relief

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 08:00:00 EST
    The scientific efforts led by Salvemini, who is professor of pharmacological and physiological sciences at SLU, demonstrated that turning on a receptor in the brain and spinal cord counteracts chronic nerve pain in male and female rodents. Activating the A3 receptor — either by its native chemical stimulator, the small molecule adenosine, or by powerful synthetic small molecule drugs invented at the NIH — prevents or reverses pain that develops slowly from nerve damage without causing analgesic tolerance or intrinsic reward (unlike opioids).
  • Pac-Man instead of patch: Using video games to improve lazy eye, depth perception

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Scientists have created video games that add an important element of fun to the repetitive training needed to improve vision in people – including adults – with a lazy eye and poor depth perception. The training tools, including a Pac-Man-style “cat and mouse” game and a “search for oddball” game, have produced results in pilot testing: Weak-eye vision improved to 20/20 and 20/50 in two adult research participants with lazy eyes whose vision was 20/25 and 20/63, respectively, before the training began.
  • Suffolk volunteer with genetic condition gets award

    Posted:Mon, 01 Dec 2014 06:30:00 EST
    A young volunteer who founded a support group for people affected by a rare genetic disorder has been given a high profile award. Jessica Cook, 24, from Stowmarket, was born with NF2 – Neurofibromatosis Type 2 – an incurable condition that affects one in 35,000 people and causes tumours to grow throughout the nervous system, most commonly seen in the brain and spine.
  • Growth factor regenerates damaged nerves without sprouting new blood vessels

    Posted:Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:30:00 EST
    In experiments with normal mice able to produce VEGF-B, Rosenblatt saw that levels of the growth factor rose significantly around corneal nerves after they were damaged. The findings, he said, warrant further investigation of VEGF-B as a potential therapy to treat corneal nerve damage, which can be caused by dry eye, contact lenses, viruses or eye surgery, in addition to trauma. As a treatment, VEGF-B may prove superior to nerve growth factor, which has been used to treat certain eye diseases but can cause significant eye pain or the growth of new blood vessels.
  • Charity Christmas Single

    Posted:Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:00:00 EST
    A Christmas single has been released to raise money and awareness for Crowborough based charity Taylor-Made Dreams. The charity was founded by the mother of a Crowborough teenager Taylor Mitchell, who died of a rare nerve disorder in September 2011, aged just 15. Taylor was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2, which caused tumours to form in his brain and spine. After the death of her son, Suzi Mitchell founded Taylor Made Dreams to help other terminally-ill youngsters complete their “bucket list”.
  • Sesame Lets Seriously Paralyzed Folks Use Smartphones

    Posted:Mon, 17 Nov 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Our smartphones can both bind us and liberate us in a myriad of ways. They put us in touch with others, help us automate things, and guide us when we’re on our way. All this requires the basic ability to tap a finger on the phone’s screen. Yet, the very people that would most benefit from that capabilities of smartphones are the ones least able to use them. Specifically, paraplegics that can’t move their arms can’t make phone calls, turn lights on and off, and direct a wheelchair through a single interface. To make this possible, project called Sesame is aiming to empower standard smartphones to be used by people who only have movement left above the neck.
  • Scientists awarded grant to investigate new drug-based treatment for NF2

    Posted:Mon, 17 Nov 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Scientists from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded a grant from young person’s cancer charity The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust to investigate a new drug-based treatment for a multi-tumour brain and nervous system cancer which affects teenagers and young adults.
  • Toward Gene Editing

    Posted:Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:30:00 EST
    A team of Harvard researchers has developed a system that uses commercially available molecules called cationic lipids — essentially long, greasy molecules that carry a positive charge at one end — to introduce genome-editing proteins into cells efficiently. David Liu, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and colleagues used the new system to modify genes in specialized “hair cells” in the inner ears of mice. Hair cell damage, either from environmental or genetic factors, is a common cause of hearing loss.
  • Opening Reception for “Unwavering Truth: Archive Of Our Own”

    Posted:Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Unwavering Truth: Archive of Our Own (Queens Museum, November 15 2014, 2-5pm) seeks to present an honest look at people with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The exhibit presents works of art by artists with NF2 or artwork related to NF2, meant to depict the emotional truth underlying the thought processes of someone with NF2, while demonstrating that there is more to the artist than just the disorder.
  • Gaston Christian student continues to excel despite hearing loss

    Posted:Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:30:00 EST
    The Gaston Christian School eighth-grader is full of life, with a sense of humor and an animated personality that can instantly brighten the days of those she encounters. It’s hard to believe that just six months ago Holly was starting to deal with her biggest challenge yet: losing all but 10 percent of her hearing. At age 5, Holly was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare disorder that affects about one in 25,000 people, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
  • Researchers take new approach to stop ‘most wanted’ cancer protein

    Posted:Mon, 10 Nov 2014 07:00:00 EST
    In a study published online by the journal Cell, the scientists used a specially crafted compound to disrupt the protein’s ability to rev up its own production and that of other proteins involved in tumor cell growth. The study focused on a cell protein called MYCN, one of a family of proteins that are notorious not only for stimulating the growth and proliferation of cancer cells, but also for their ability to evade targeted drug therapies.
  • Low-dose Aspirin Goes Beyond COX-1: Exciting New Mechanistic Insights Into Cancer Prevention

    Posted:Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:30:00 EST
    With a multitude of studies suggesting aspirin’s cancer preventive effects in recent years, the intrigue now turns toward its mechanism of anticancer action. As I discussed in an earlier post, existing knowledge suggests that the antiplatelet effect of low-dose aspirin via inhibition of the COX-1 pathway may play a role in lowering the risk for many different cancers.
  • Scientists awarded grant to investigate new drug-based treatment for NF2

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Scientists from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded a grant from young person’s cancer charity The Laura Crane Youth Cancer Trust to investigate a new drug-based treatment for a multi-tumour brain and nervous system cancer which affects teenagers and young adults.
  • Mya’s Mission: Young Cornwall girl to have brain surgery to remove NF2 tumour

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Mya Jackson is just like any other Cornwall five-year-old – with one major difference. She bounces around the living room, moving from Ipad to television with lightning-like speed and soaking up all the fun of an occasion like Halloween. But unlike the balance of her five-year-old friends, Mya has a date with a brain surgeon in a few weeks to remove a massive brain tumour that has attached itself to her frontal lobe.
  • New progress in treatment of brain cancer and other neurological diseases

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 09:30:00 EST
    A new technology that may assist in the treatment of brain cancer and other neurological diseases is the subject of an article in a recent issue of the journal Technology, published by World Scientific Publishing Company. According to the authors, the current medical use of chemotherapy to treat brain cancer can be inefficient because of the blood-brain-barrier that impedes the delivery of drugs out of blood vessels and into the tumor.
  • Blood vessel growth in the brain relies on a protein found in tumor blood vessels

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Do blood vessels that feed tumors differ from other blood vessels? Fourteen years ago, experiments designed to answer that question led to the discovery of several genes that are more active in tumor-associated blood vessels than in normal blood vessels. New research now reveals the normal function of one of those genes and suggests it could be a good target for anticancer drug therapy.
  • Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer. In experiments on mice, the stem cells were genetically engineered to produce and secrete toxins which kill brain tumours, without killing normal cells or themselves.
  • Recap: Focused Ultrasound Symposium Showcases Latest in Clinical and Research Advances in Non-Invasive Therapy for Brain Disorders, Cancer and Other Diseases

    Posted:Fri, 07 Nov 2014 06:30:00 EST
    The 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound featured clinical and research advances on the use of this non-invasive therapeutic technology to treat conditions as diverse as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, obsessive compulsive disorder, several cancers, hypertension and uterine fibroids. More than 400 clinicians, scientists, government and industry representatives from around the world gathered from October 12-16 to share the latest translational and clinical research in image-guided focused ultrasound.
  • AdvocureNF2’s 2014 Halloween Bash Raises Funds for Research

    Posted:Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST
    AdvocureNF2 is thrilled to announce that this year’s Halloween Bash brought in $25,000! Additionally, Roland Thoms’ family will once again match the donation amount plus more with $50,000! A special thank you to Roland Thoms, the sponsors and guests for their extraordinary efforts to raise much needed funds for NF2. The Halloween Bash is the signature event of AdvocureNF2, to raise awareness of the disease and much needed funds for NF2 research. All funds raised are awarded to research projects aimed at stopping or shrinking tumor growth.
  • New app lets deaf people ‘hear’ group conversations

    Posted:Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Researchers have developed the first mobile app to make group conversations possible between deaf people and their hearing peers. The Transcense app “listens” and interprets conversations, providing real-time captioning on mobile devices. The app was developed by researchers from Berkeley, along with University of San Francisco graduates from the US, France, the Netherlands, and Taiwan. They say the app makes group conversations “possible and effortless” for the hearing impaired.
  • Brain barrier opened for first time to treat cancer

    Posted:Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:30:00 EST
    For the first time, doctors have opened and closed the brain’s protector – the blood-brain barrier – on demand. The breakthrough will allow drugs to reach diseased areas of the brain that are otherwise out of bounds. Ultimately, it could make it easier to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.
  • An ingestible pill with needles could be the new form of injection

    Posted:Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:30:00 EST
    The researchers, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), have published the results of their study – which tested the microneedle pill in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of pigs – in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Though most of us would probably prefer swallowing a pill over having an injection, many drugs cannot be given in pill form because they are broken down in the stomach before being absorbed.
  • Captioning on Glass app brings real-time closed captioning to Google Glass

    Posted:Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:30:00 EST
    A new Glassware app has made it to Google Glass to make it easier for those hard of hearing to communicate by bringing real-time closed captioning to Glass’ heads-up display. Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Captioning on Glass app leverages the microphone on the connected smartphone to capture spoken speech and translate it into text on Glass using Google’s speech recognition software in real-time.
  • Mayo Clinic Launches 50-Gene Cancer Panel Test

    Posted:Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Mayo Clinic has developed a new 50-gene cancer panel test to help tailor chemotherapy to the needs of individual patients based on the unique genomic signature of each patient’s tumor.
  • Drug-infused nanoparticle is right for sore eyes

    Posted:Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:30:00 EST
    For the millions of sufferers of dry eye syndrome, their only recourse to easing the painful condition is to use drug-laced eye drops three times a day. Now, researchers have developed a topical solution containing nanoparticles that will combat dry eye syndrome with only one application a week.
  • A Chance For Chase

    Posted:Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:30:00 EST
    7 year old Chase, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2, is a big WWE fan and is trying to get to meet some of his WWE heroes at the SmackDown tapings on November 25th in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • (Abstract) Progress of hearing loss in neurofibromatosis type 2: implications for future management

    Posted:Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The objective of this study was to describe changes in hearing over time in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) treated conservatively.
  • Become a Halloween Bash Tumor Fighting Superhero!!!

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Join the fight against children’s tumors by reaching out to your friends, family and contact list to help donate towards much needed research for Neurofibromatosis 2. For all who raise over $500, their name will be entered into a draw for a $500 Visa Gift certificate.
  • Gene correction technique could revolutionise treatment

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Scientists have performed a “seamless” correction to a faulty gene behind an inherited form of anaemia using a revolutionary new technique in genome editing that could transform the treatment of many genetic diseases.
  • Acoustic neuroma: An investigation of associations between tumor size and diagnostic delays, facial weakness, and surgical complications

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST
    We conducted a retrospective case review to ascertain the clinical characteristics associated with acoustic neuromas and their treatment. Our primary goals were to determine if tumor size was correlated to (1) the interval from symptom onset to diagnosis, (2) the degree of preoperative facial weakness, and (3) surgical complications.
  • (Abstract) Proteomic screening identifies a YAP-driven signaling network linked to tumor cell proliferation in human schwannomas

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Research highlight: Inactivation of the NF2 gene predisposes to neurofibromatosis type II and the development of schwannomas. In vitro studies have shown that loss of NF2 leads to the induction of mitogenic signaling mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), MAP kinase, AKT, or Hippo pathways. The goal of our study was to evaluate the expression and activity of these signaling pathways in human schwannomas in order to identify new potential therapeutic targets.
  • (Abstract) The p53/mouse double minute 2 homolog complex deregulation in merlin-deficient tumours

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Research highlight: Here we investigated p53 regulation and its role in proliferation and survival of human primary schwannoma cells using western blotting, immunocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry and proliferation, survival and transcription factor assays.
  • Researchers unlock new mechanism in pain management

    Posted:Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Neuroscientist Gerald Zamponi, PhD, and his team at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute have discovered a new mechanism that can reverse chronic pain. Using an animal model, their research has found that pain signals in nerve cells can be shut off by interfering with the communication of a specific enzyme with calcium channels, a group of important proteins that control nerve impulses.
  • AdvocureNF2 Announces 10th Annual Halloween Bash

    Posted:Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST
    The annual event, led by Roland Thoms of AdvocureNF2 and Varsity Painting, will be running in it’s 10th season this year. The event will be held on October 18th in Walnut Creek, California. The Annual Bash aims to raise much needed funds to continually help financially support NF2 research projects. This year’s theme is superheroes and the 70s, so grab a cape, throw on some bell bottoms, and join us for a great time for a great cause at the Bash!
  • (Abstract) NF2 Invasion of the Internal Auditory Canal Wall: Clinical Significance

    Posted:Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The majority of IAC (internal auditory canal) tumors associated with the severe “Wishart” phenotype demonstrate bone invasion within the IAC. Invasion of bone was associated with poorer hearing. The invasive nature of NF2-associated tumors may partially explain their higher recurrence rate after resection. Surgeons managing NF2-related VS should be aware of the small infiltrations of the wall of the IAC when removing these tumors to minimize recurrence.
  • Surgery room ‘black box’ poised to change medical culture

    Posted:Wed, 03 Sep 2014 07:30:00 EST
    In Dr. Teodor Grantcharov’s operating room, “the whole room is wired.” Cameras and microphones capture movement and conversation, and patient data, such as heart rate and blood pressure, is logged automatically by a data recorder similar to black boxes used on airplanes to record flight data. The surgery box, which is actually blue, is poised to change medical culture and practice, said Grantcharov, a minimally-invasive surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital and professor at the University of Toronto.
  • Sunitinib active in meningioma

    Posted:Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Sunitinib demonstrated encouraging activity in patients with recurrent and progressive meningioma, according to results of a prospective, multicenter, single-arm phase 2 study.
  • 3D-printed implants infused with medicine to enable more effective drug delivery

    Posted:Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:30:00 EST
    A great strength of 3D-printing in the field of medicine is the ability to provide low-cost, personalized implants molded to a patient’s anatomy. Researchers from Louisiana Tech University have now taken the technology one step further, loading these custom implants with cancer-fighting and antiobiotic compounds as a means of better targeted drug delivery.
  • How a microscopic ‘pump’ could get drugs into cancer cells

    Posted:Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:30:00 EST
    A US research team, led by Dr Jan E. Schnitzer, have taken apart one of our body’s natural delivery systems and worked out how it functions. They pinpointed a tiny machine that scoops up molecules from the cells lining the blood vessels of mice and rats – and transports them into neighbouring lung and breast tumours.
  • Injecting bacteria shrinks tumors in dogs and one patient: study

    Posted:Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Common soil bacteria injected into solid cancers in pet dogs and one human patient shrank many of the tumors, scientists reported on Wednesday. The preliminary findings offered hope that the experimental treatment could turn out to be more effective than existing cancer therapies for some inoperable tumors such as those of the lung, breast, and pancreas, which often fail to respond to radiation and chemotherapy.
  • (Abstract) A murine model of NF2 that accurately phenocopies human schwannoma formation

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Research highlight: Here, we present a genetically engineered NF2 mouse model generated through excision of the Nf2 gene driven by Cre expression under control of a tissue-restricted 3.9kbPeriostin promoter element. Overall, the Postn-Cre; Nf2flox/flox tumor model provides a novel tool for future mechanistic and therapeutic studies of NF2-associated schwannomas.
  • Novel drug action against solid tumors explained

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Researchers at UC Davis, City of Hope, Taipai Medical University and National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan have discovered how a drug that deprives the cells of a key amino acid specifically kills cancer cells. Their paper, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the culmination of nearly a decade of research into the role of arginine – and its deprivation – in the generation of excessive autophagy, a process in which the cell dies by eating itself.
  • (Abstract) LIM domain kinases as potential therapeutic targets for NF2

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Research highlight: Here we report that mouse Schwann cells (MSCs) in which merlin function is lost as a result of Nf2 exon2 deletion (Nf2(ΔEx2)) exhibited increased levels of LIMK1, LIMK2 and active phospho-Thr508/505-LIMK1/2, as well as phospho-Ser3-cofilin, compared with wild-type normal MSCs. Our results suggest that LIMKs are potential drug targets for NF2 and tumors associated with merlin deficiency.
  • Live subtitles: How smart technology could help deaf people

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 08:30:00 EST
    There are many new technologies that can help people with disabilities, like live subtitling 24/7 for deaf people, but how well do they work? So when I first heard about Google Glass – wearable technology that positions a small computer screen above your right eye – I was excited. Live subtitling 24/7 and calling up an in-vision interpreter at the touch of a button. Remarkably both seemed possible.
  • Author sheds light on a little-known degenerative disease

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Anna Lickley was first diagnosed with the rare inherited disease NF2 as a teenager, undaunted she has lived her life to the full. Julie Marshall reports. The idea for her book, Catch it Anytime You Can, which was published last year, came from a blog that Anna began in 2010 to try and make sense of her condition. Catch it Anytime You Can is available from Amazon and in The Grove Bookshop, Ilkley and Salts Mill Saltaire.
  • Scientists demonstrate long-sought drug candidate can halt tumor growth

    Posted:Wed, 13 Aug 2014 06:30:00 EST
    It’s a trick any cat burglar knows: to open a locked door, slide a credit card past the latch. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) tried a similar strategy when they attempted to disrupt the function of MYC, a cancer regulator thought to be “undruggable.” MYC is a transcriptional factor, meaning it controls gene expression. When MYC is overexpressed or amplified, the unregulated expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, a key step in cancer growth, follows.
  • SickKids doctors remove teen’s tumour without radiation or surgery

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:30:00 EST
    A Brampton, Ont., teenager has become the first person in North America to have a benign tumour near his hip removed without radiation or surgery. Doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto destroyed the tumour 2½ weeks ago by using an MRI machine to focus high intensity ultrasound waves to burn off the growth on Jack Campanelli, 16.
  • New Information on Transcranial Ultrasound Therapy

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST
    In his PhD thesis, MSc Aki Pulkkinen provides new information on the limitations and potential new directions for the future development of transcranial ultrasound therapy. In the PhD thesis, two issues that may potentially limit the applicability of the transcranial ultrasound therapy were investigated: skull-base heating and formation of standing-waves.
  • (Abstract) Primary culture of human vestibular schwannomas

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) represent Schwann cell (SC) tumors of the vestibular nerve, compromising 10% of all intracranial neoplasms. Here we illustrate a simplified, reproducible protocol for culture of primary human VS cells. This easily mastered technique allows for molecular and cellular investigations that more accurately recapitulate the complexity of VS disease.
  • Living with NF2: Seeing Life From Both Sides

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Today’s guest post is by inspirational college student John (Jack) Christensen. He enjoys writing, the outdoors, traveling, and volunteering. After being diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare genetic condition, his positive mindset has helped him discover the ways his condition has made him stronger.
  • Implanted neurons become part of the brain

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability. Six months after implantation, the neurons had become fully functionally integrated into the brain.
  • Scientists uncover new clues to repairing injured spinal cord

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Frogs, dogs, whales, snails can all do it, but humans and primates can’t. Regrow nerves after an injury, that is—while many animals have this ability, humans don’t. But new research from the Salk Institute suggests that a small molecule may be able to convince damaged nerves to grow and effectively rewire circuits. Such a feat could eventually lead to therapies for the thousands of Americans with severe spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
  • Seamless gene correction of beta-thalassemia mutations in patient-specific cells

    Posted:Tue, 05 Aug 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Gene therapy, which delivers a corrected copy of a gene into patient cells, could bypass the need for a donor. Previous attempts using a virus to randomly insert a normal gene into the genome has been successful in one β-thalassemia patient, but the long-term effect of viral insertion is not yet known.
  • DNA project ‘to make UK world genetic research leader’

    Posted:Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:30:00 EST
    The first genetic codes of people with cancer or rare diseases, out of a target of 100,000, have been sequenced. Experts believe it will lead to targeted therapies and could make chemotherapy “a thing of the past”. Just one human genome contains more than three billion base pairs – the building blocks of DNA.
  • See-through organs and bodies will accelerate biomedical discoveries

    Posted:Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:30:00 EST
    The ability to see through organs and even the entire body to visualize long-range connections between cells as well as fine-grained cellular structures has been a long-time dream of biologists. A study published by Cell Press July 31st in the journal Cell has now made that dream a reality, revealing simple methods for making opaque organs, bodies, and human tissue biopsies transparent, while keeping the cellular structures and connections intact. The protocols could pave the way for a better understanding of brain-body interactions, more accurate clinical diagnoses and disease monitoring, and a new generation of therapies for conditions ranging from autism to chronic pain.
  • (Abstract) The relaxation response resiliency program (3RP) in patients with NF 1, NF 2, and schwannomatosis: results from a pilot study.

    Posted:Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of an NF adapted, 8-week group mind body skills based intervention, the relaxation response resiliency program (3RP) aimed at improving resiliency and increasing satisfaction with life.
  • New drug target can break down cancer’s barrier against treatment

    Posted:Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Cancer Research UK scientists at Barts Cancer Institute have found that targeting a molecule in blood vessels can make cancer therapy significantly more effective, according to research published in Nature.
  • Understanding How Neuro Cells Turn Cancerous

    Posted:Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Tumor suppressors exist in cells to prevent abnormal cell division in our bodies. The loss Merlin leads to tumors in many cell types within our nervous systems. There are two copies of a tumor suppressor, one on each chromosome that we inherit from our parents. The loss of Merlin can be caused by random loss of both copies in a single cell, causing sporadic tumors, or by inheriting one abnormal copy and losing the second copy throughout our lifetime as is seen in the inherited condition of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).
  • (Abstract) A neuronal function of the tumor suppressor protein merlin

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: In this review, we compile clinical and experimental evidences for the underestimated role of the tumor suppressor merlin in the neuronal compartment.
  • (Abstract) Merlin/NF2 Loss-Driven Tumorigenesis Linked to CRL4DCAF1-Mediated Inhibition of the Hippo Pathway Kinases Lats1 and 2 in the Nucleus

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: We found that derepressed CRL4DCAF1 promotes YAP- and TEAD-dependent transcription by ubiquitylating and, thereby, inhibiting Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus. Genetic epistasis experiments and analysis of tumor-derived missense mutations indicate that this signaling connection sustains the oncogenicity of Merlin-deficient tumor cells.
  • New research reveals how cannabis compound could slow tumour growth

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumor growth in cancer patients. Research published today reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug’s success in shrinking tumors.
  • High-res images of inner ear could lead to new hearing loss therapies

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Understanding how hearing works has long been hampered by challenges associated with seeing inside the inner ear, but technology being developed by a team of researchers that includes a biomedical engineer from Texas A&M University is generating some of the most detailed images of the inner ear to date while offering new insight into the mechanics of hearing that could lead to new therapies for hearing loss.
  • New combination drug controls tumor growth and metastasis in mice

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Researchers at UC Davis, University of Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School have created a combination drug that controls both tumor growth and metastasis. By combining a COX-2 inhibitor, similar to Celebrex, and an epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitor, the drug controls angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), limiting a tumor’s ability to grow and spread.
  • An operating room ‘black box’ the future of surgical procedure

    Posted:Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:30:00 EST
    When a surgery goes wrong, how do doctors assess blame? How do they understand what went wrong so they can prevent it in the future? Currently, most hospitals have a reactive process: a weekly morbidity and mortality meeting where they discuss possible reasons for adverse outcomes – a tidy medical phrase that stands in for death, disability or prolonged hospital stay.
  • (PDF) Novel age-dependent targets in vestibular schwannomas

    Posted:Thu, 03 Jul 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Schwannomas are the most common neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)-associated tumors with significant phenotypic heterogeneity in patients. The most severe subtype has an early and rapid progression and the mild type has a later onset and a less aggressive course. The aim of this study was to elucidate the underlying molecular differences between these groups. We compared the gene expression pattern between patients with early to late age of onset.
  • Is the next ‘new’ cancer drug already in your medicine cabinet?

    Posted:Thu, 03 Jul 2014 07:00:00 EST
    It turns out that the same types of drugs that help reduce watery eyes and runny noses during allergy season might also help ward off tumors too. A new research report appearing in the July 2014 issue of The Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that antihistamines may have significant anti-cancer properties as they interfere with the function of a type of cell that is known to reduce the body’s ability to fight tumors (called “myeloid derived suppressor cells”).
  • Engineered red blood cells could carry precious therapeutic cargo

    Posted:Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Whitehead Institute scientists have genetically and enzymatically modified red blood cells to carry a range of valuable payloads—from drugs, to vaccines, to imaging agents—for delivery to specific sites throughout the body. “We wanted to create high-value red cells that do more than simply carry oxygen,” says Whitehead Founding Member Harvey Lodish, who collaborated with Whitehead Member Hidde Ploegh in this pursuit. “Here we’ve laid out the technology to make mouse and human red blood cells in culture that can express what we want and potentially be used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.”
  • Immunotherapies: Strengthening Our Own Defenses to Fight Cancer

    Posted:Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:00:00 EST
    “Tumor cells are the cells of our body that are somehow changed through genetics or environmental factors which make them proliferate or expand uncontrollably,” says Dr. Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., the Christopher M. Davis Professor of Cancer Research. Over the years, researchers have understood ways in which the immune system can be trained to better fight against cancer. Dr. Gabrilovich described it as a similar process to what is done in order to develop effective vaccines. However, when someone receives a vaccine to protect them from a virus, they develop antibodies, which aren’t that effective in cancer. Instead, immunotherapies are required to help the T-cells work harder at fighting the cancer.
  • (Full-text) Long-term toxicity of bevacizumab therapy in neurofibromatosis 2 patients

    Posted:Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Bevacizumab treatment is associated with tumor shrinkage and hearing improvement in about 50% of neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) patients with progressive vestibular schwannomas. Hypertension and proteinuria are common side effects of treatment. However, the long-term toxicity of bevacizumab in this population has not been reported. Here we discuss our cohort of NF2 patients on bevacizumab.
  • ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton Suit Gets FDA Approval

    Posted:Fri, 27 Jun 2014 10:00:00 EST
    “For the first time individuals with paraplegia will be able to take home this exoskeleton technology, use it every day and maximize on the physiological and psychological benefits we have observed in clinical trials,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of Argo Medical Technologies, which makes the suit.
  • New Device Allows Brain to Bypass Spinal Cord and Move Paralyzed Limbs

    Posted:Fri, 27 Jun 2014 09:00:00 EST
    For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle.
  • Magnet technology means new possibilities for cochlear implant users

    Posted:Fri, 27 Jun 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Enabling the device to remain safely in position during an MRI are rotatable internal magnets, which have been specifically designed to automatically re-align to compensate for the magnetic field of an MRI scan. Despite this, the device remains the lightest and most compact on the market to date.
  • This is your brain on … surgical sound waves

    Posted:Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Focused ultrasound promises an incision-free alternative for prostate-cancer and brain surgery. With HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound), it can be performed on patients while they are wide awake, without an incision or recovery time. HIFU may also be used to aid drug delivery by bursting tiny bubbles of injected or absorbed drugs.
  • (pdf) CDMRP NF Research Program Book

    Posted:Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:30:00 EST
    The CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs) announces a new book detailing the history and overview of the NFRP (Neurofibromatosis Research Program), from how it began to the various research projects it has supported.
  • NF Clinical Pipeline: Interventional Drug Therapies

    Posted:Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:00:00 EST
    CTF (Children’s Tumor Foundation) has compiled a chart showing the various drug treatments being tested for different conditions in NF1 and NF2 at the present time.
  • OTHS student staying positive after surgery for NF2

    Posted:Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:00:00 EST
    A 15-year-old boy from Ottawa had a 12-hour surgery on May 27, after being diagnosed with Type 2 Neurofibromatosis.
  • ‘Smart glasses’ for the near-blind start trials in public spaces

    Posted:Fri, 20 Jun 2014 08:00:00 EST
    “Smart glasses,” which help people with poor vision boost their awareness of what is around them, are being tested in public for the first time. Researchers at Oxford University in the UK are measuring how well their invention can help the near-blind navigate around shopping malls and avoid walking into obstacles.
  • Neuron tells stem cells to grow new neurons

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Duke researchers have found a new type of neuron in the adult brain that is capable of telling stem cells to make more new neurons. Though the experiments are in their early stages, the finding opens the tantalizing possibility that the brain may be able to repair itself from within.
  • New tumor-targeting agent images and treats wide variety of cancers

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Scientists at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) report that a new class of tumor-targeting agents can seek out and find dozens of solid tumors, even illuminating brain cancer stem cells that resist current treatments.
  • Unlocking the potential of stem cells to repair brain damage

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:00:00 EST
    A QUT scientist is hoping to unlock the potential of stem cells as a way of repairing neural damage to the brain. Rachel Okolicsanyi, from the Genomics Research Centre at QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, is manipulating adult stem cells from bone marrow to produce a population of cells that can be used to treat brain damage. “My research is a step in proving that stem cells taken from the bone marrow can be manipulated into neural cells, or precursor cells that have the potential to replace, repair or treat brain damage,” she said.
  • Researchers Move Small Molecule Drugs Through Blood Brain Barrier

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated in a mouse model that their recently developed synthetic peptide carrier is a potential delivery vehicle for brain cancer chemotherapy drugs and other neurological medications. The findings appear in PLOS ONE.
  • Cancer pill fights disease and gives lifelong protection

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:00:00 EST
    A pill which boosts the body’s natural defences could help fight off all cancers and stop them ever returning, scientists believe. ‘Delta-inhibitors’ were already known to help leukaemia patients, but researchers were amazed to find they also work on a whole range of other cancers.
  • Powerful tool combs family genomes to find shared variations causing disease

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Scientists at the University of Utah (U of U), the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues have developed a powerful tool called pVAAST that combines linkage analysis with case control association to help researchers and clinicians identify disease-causing mutations in families faster and more precisely than ever before.
  • Revealing The Human Proteome

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Researchers completed a draft map of the human proteome—the set of all proteins in the human body. The accomplishment will help advance a broad range of research into human health and disease. Several projects are now underway to characterize the human proteome. In their new study, a team of researchers headed by Drs. Akhilesh Pandey at Johns Hopkins University and Harsha Gowda at the Institute of Bioinformatics in Bangalore, India, used an advanced form of mass spectrometry to sequence proteins and create a draft map of the human proteome.
  • Immune response affects sleep and memory

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:30:00 EST
    Sickness-induced insomnia is common because of link between brain and immune system. Fighting off illness- rather than the illness itself- causes sleep deprivation and affects memory, a new study has found. University of Leicester biologist Dr Eamonn Mallon said a common perception is that if you are sick, you sleep more. But the study, carried out in flies, found that sickness induced insomnia is quite common.
  • Hearing Loss in Older Adults Tied to More Hospitalizations and Poorer Physical and Mental Health

    Posted:Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:00:00 EST
    Older adults with hearing loss are more likely than peers with normal hearing to require hospitalization and suffer from periods of inactivity and depression, according to results of a new study by experts at Johns Hopkins.
  • new generation brain scanner uses optical technology

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 08:30:00 EST
    A new optical approach to brain scanning compares favorably with neuroimaging techniques such as PET and MRI, according to a new study. Using tiny LED lights to track what is happening in the brain, the technology is radiation-free and does not require bulky magnets. In the journal Nature Photonics, scientists from the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis report how they benchmarked the new technology – called diffuse optical tomography or DOT.
  • The CDMRP Announces 2014 Funding Opportunities for NF Research

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 08:00:00 EST
    As part of the ongoing Neurofibromatosis Research Program, the CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs) is accepting applications to award NF Research in the following fields: Clinical Trial, Exploration, Investigator-Initiated and New Investigator.
  • (abstract) Merlin Deficiency Predicts FAK Inhibitor Sensitivity: A Synthetic Lethal Relationship

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: In a diverse panel of cancer cell lines, we found that the cells most sensitive to focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibition lack expression of the neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor gene product, Merlin. Furthermore, our data suggest that patients with Merlin-negative tumors may especially benefit from FAK inhibitor treatment.
  • Could chickens cure Deafness? Study reveals birds regrow damaged hearing cells

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Scientists studied the development of specialised cells within the inner ear in chickens, which unlike humans, have the capacity to regrow sound-detecting cells after suffering hearing loss. A study by the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders says that if scientists understand what causes chickens’ cells to redevelop they could one day replicate the process in humans to reverse hearing loss.
  • How a cancer-killing gene may actually work

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Scientists from the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the University of Colorado Boulder used a new technology to tease out how the p53 gene — which is responsible for recognizing damaged DNA in cells and then marking them for death — is actually able to suppress tumors by determining what other genes p53 regulates. The study, published in the journal eLife, describes dozens of new genes directly regulated by p53.
  • Powerful tool combs family genomes to find shared variations causing disease

    Posted:Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Scientists at the University of Utah (U of U), the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues have developed a powerful tool called pVAAST that combines linkage analysis with case control association to help researchers and clinicians identify disease-causing mutations in families faster and more precisely than ever before.
  • AdvocureNF2 Funds Research for 2014

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 08:00:00 EST
    AdvocureNF2 is proud to announce funding towards five different NF2 research projects this year. The majority of funds raised this year came from AdvocureNF2 Board member Roland Thoms’ very successful 9th Annual Halloween Bash – an annual event that takes place in North and South California. The five projects went to: Synodos at Children’s Tumor Foundation, Long-Sheng Chang of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Chunling Yi of Georgetown University Medical Center, Cristina Fernandez-Valle of University of Central Florida, and the NF2 State of The Art Conference of Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • (Full Text) Longitudinal evaluation of quality of life in 288 patients with neurofibromatosis 2

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 07:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Advances in molecular biology have resulted in novel therapy for neurofibromatosis 2-related (NF2) tumours, highlighting the need for robust outcome measures. The disease-focused NF2 impact on quality of life (NFTI-QOL) patient questionnaire was assessed as an outcome measure for treatment in a multi-centre study. NFTI-QOL was related to clinician-rated severity (ClinSev) and genetic severity (GenSev) over repeated visits.
  • Cancer avatars for personalized medicine

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have used computer simulations of cancer cells – cancer avatars – to identify drugs most likely to kill cancer cells isolated from patients’ brain tumors. Such an approach would allow scientists to selectively test cancer drugs on those who would be most likely to respond to them, while simultaneously reducing patients’ exposures to toxic drugs that would likely be ineffective.
  • (Abstract) Surgical Outcomes in Cystic Vestibular Schwannoma Versus Solid Vestibular Schwannoma

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To review the postoperative surgical outcomes of cystic vestibular schwannomas (CVSs), especially facial nerve outcomes, and compare these results with those from matched solid vestibular schwannomas (SVS) resected during the same period at a tertiary referral center. 131 surgically managed patients with cystic vestibular schwannomas (CVSs) were age, sex, and tumor size matched to 131 surgically managed patients with solid vestibular schwannomas (SVSs).
  • Scientists catch misguided DNA-repair proteins in the act

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 05:30:00 EST
    Accumulation of DNA damage can cause aggressive forms of cancer and accelerated aging, so the body’s DNA repair mechanisms are normally key to good health. However, in some diseases the DNA repair machinery can become harmful. Scientists led by a group of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, CA, have discovered some of the key proteins involved in one type of DNA repair gone awry.
  • Researchers find new target for chronic pain treatment

    Posted:Thu, 22 May 2014 05:00:00 EST
    Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have found a new target for treating chronic pain: an enzyme called PIP5K1C. In a paper published today in the journal Neuron, a team of researchers led by Mark Zylka, PhD, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology, shows that PIP5K1C controls the activity of cellular receptors that signal pain.
  • (Abstract) MRI without magnet removal in NF2 patients with cochlear and auditory brainstem implants

    Posted:Tue, 20 May 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research highlight: To assess the impact on image quality of MRI without magnet removal in cochlear implant (CI) and auditory brainstem implant (ABI) users with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Thirteen patients (10 ABI, 3CI) with NF2 underwent a total of 76 MRI scans.
  • ‘My life changed forever when I lost my hearing’

    Posted:Tue, 20 May 2014 10:00:00 EST
    In 2010, 25-year-old Helen Hunt was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type two (NF2), which causes tumours to grow along nerves responsible for hearing and balance. After first volunteering at the Bury Society for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People last March, within two months she was hired as fundraising and marketing manager. Helen is spearheading the charity’s relaunch later this month, which will see the adult’s and children’s branches come together with a new name and logo.
  • Researchers develop sequencing platform that generates “clinical-grade” data from small amounts of tumor sample DNA

    Posted:Tue, 20 May 2014 09:00:00 EST
    A large team of researchers with members from several universities and hospitals in the U.S. has developed a sequencing platform that generates “clinical-grade” data using whole exome sequencing (WES) from small amounts of DNA extracted from clinical tumor samples. In their paper published in the journal Nature Medicine, the team describes their new method and how it might soon be used in routine clinical practice.
  • Bevacizumab-Dasatinib Combination Shows Promise in Brain Cancer

    Posted:Tue, 20 May 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Using bevacizumab and dasatinib together may shrink tumors and block them from spreading. The drug bevacizumab (Avastin) shrinks tumors briefly in patients with an aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. Based on those results, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers have already conducted a phase I clinical trial testing a combination of bevacizumab and dasatinib in glioblastoma patients whose other therapies didn’t work.
  • Illuminating neuron activity in 3-D

    Posted:Tue, 20 May 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have created an imaging system that reveals neural activity throughout the brains of living animals. The team used the new system to simultaneously image the activity of every neuron in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, as well as the entire brain of a zebrafish larva, offering a more complete picture of nervous system activity than has been previously possible.
  • Scientists slow brain tumor growth in mice

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 02:00:00 EST
    Much like using dimmer switches to brighten or darken rooms, biochemists have identified a protein that can be used to slow down or speed up the growth of brain tumors in mice. The results of the preclinical study led by Eric J. Wagner, Ph.D., and Ann-Bin Shyu, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and Wei Li, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine appear in the Advance Online Publication of the journal Nature.
  • (Abstract) NF2/Merlin in hereditary neurofibromatosis 2 versus cancer: biologic mechanisms and clinical associations

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: This review highlights cancers in which somatic NF2 mutations have been found, the cell signaling pathways involving NF2/merlin, current clinical trials treating neurofibromatosis 2 patients, and preclinical findings that promise to lead to new targeted therapies for both cancers harboring NF2 mutations and neurofibromatosis 2 patients.
  • (Abstract) Re-evaluation of cytostatic therapies for meningiomas in vitro

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 10:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To re-evaluate in cell culture models the therapeutic usefulness of some discussed chemotherapies or targeted therapies for meningiomas with a special emphasis on the role of the neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor, which had been neglected so far. In addition, the study intended to evaluate a potential benefit from a treatment with drugs which are well established in other fields of medicine and have been linked recently with tumor disease by epidemiological studies.
  • (Abstract) Nf2/Merlin Controls Spinal Cord Neural Progenitor Function in a Rac1/ErbB2-Dependent Manner

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To identify potential therapeutic targets for spinal cord glial tumors (ependymomas), we leveraged primary mouse Nf2-deficient spinal cord neural progenitor cells.
  • MPDL3280A: Immunotherapy Drug Shows Promise Against Range Of Cancers

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 09:30:00 EST
    An experimental Roche Holding AG drug that helps the immune system attack tumors was well tolerated and demonstrated an impressive effect against a variety of cancers, according to preliminary trial results released on Wednesday. While clinical testing of the drug is still in its early phases, the Roche treatment is considered one of the most promising in a new class of immunotherapies being developed by global drugmakers.
  • Scientists design a molecule that blocks cancer growth in mice

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 09:00:00 EST
    A team of researchers from USC and NYU has developed and patented a small molecule that interferes with cancer progression with minimal side effects. The molecule prevents two critical proteins from interacting by mimicking the surface topography of one protein – like wearing a mask – which tricks the other protein into binding with it. This stops a so-called “transcription factor” that controls the transcription of genetic information. That transcription factor is what would have created an aberrant gene expression, contributing to the cancer growth.
  • Hypertension related to new cancer therapies – a new syndrome emerges

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 08:00:00 EST
    The mechanisms underlying VEGF inhibitor-induced hypertension need to be better understood and there is a need for clear guidelines and improved management, say investigators in a review article published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Angiogenesis inhibitors are a new class of cancer drugs that are designed to prevent the formation of new blood vessels, thereby stopping or slowing the growth or spread of tumours.
  • Possible new plan of attack for opening and closing the blood-brain barrier

    Posted:Thu, 15 May 2014 07:00:00 EST
    The blood-brain barrier helps maintain the delicate environment that allows the human brain to thrive. There’s just one problem: The barrier is so discerning, it won’t let medicines pass through. Researchers haven’t been able to coax it to open up because they don’t know enough about how the barrier forms or functions. Now, a team from Harvard Medical School has identified a gene in mice, Mfsd2a, that may beresponsible for limiting the barrier’s permeability—and the molecule it produces, Mfsd2a, works in a way few researchers expected.
  • Between Worlds: An investigation of the complex effects of acquired hearing loss

    Posted:Thu, 08 May 2014 10:00:00 EST
    CYHU team member Fred Suter has completed his investigative dissertation for university where he looks at the effects of acquired hearing loss. For this he sent a Questionnaire to mostly NF2 affected individuals who have lost their hearing and asked them how this influenced them in terms of attitudes, linguistic challenges, psychological and identity issues and lastly how they cope.
  • Clinical Trial: Study of Axitinib in Patients With Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and Progressive Vestibular Schwannomas

    Posted:Thu, 08 May 2014 09:00:00 EST
    This research study will test whether Axitinib may shrink tumors commonly found in patients with NF2 or stop them from growing. This will help us to decide if Axitinib should be used to treat NF2 patients in the future. Axitinib is a drug that has been used to treat various forms of cancer. It has not been studied for the treatment of tumors in NF2 patients. We have selected Axitinib for this clinical trial in patients with NF2 and NF2-related tumors because a very similar drug, bevacizumab, can shrink VS in some NF2 patients.
  • Abstract: Primary auditory cortical responses to electrical stimulation of the thalamus

    Posted:Thu, 08 May 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight – Cochlear implant electrical stimulation of the auditory system to rehabilitate deafness has been remarkably successful. Its deployment requires both an intact auditory nerve and a suitably patent cochlear lumen. When disease renders prerequisite conditions impassable, such as in neurofibromatosis type II and cochlear obliterans, alternative treatment targets are considered. In this study we explored another possible implant target: the auditory thalamus.
  • Vascular simulation research reveals new mechanism that switches in disease

    Posted:Thu, 08 May 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Vascular simulation research is the focus of two recent papers coauthored by investigators in the Center for Vascular Biology Research (CVBR) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), one of which provides a novel explanation for the enlarged blood vessels that are seen in various pathologies, including tumors and retinopathies. “Such insights could, for example, prove valuable in the treatment of cancer, which relies on a constant supply of blood to support tumor growth and cancerous spread.”
  • Researchers use DNA to build tool that may literally shine light on cancer

    Posted:Thu, 08 May 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Bioengineers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal have used DNA to develop a tool that detects and reacts to chemical changes caused by cancer cells and that may one day be used to deliver drugs to tumor cells.
  • AdvocureNF2’s newsletter, NF2 Compass Spring 2014 now available

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:00:00 EST
    The 2014 Spring edition of NF2 Compass is now available to view. In this issue we spotlight, Advocure’s funding projects for 2014, extraordinary NF2er Renee Stebar, NF Awareness month, plus much more!
  • Wellston graduate who has NF2 publishes book

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:30:00 EST
    A local author, Randy Pendleton is proud to announce the upcoming release of his first book entitled, “When You Leave This Way”. Despite bilateral deafness and paralysis in his face and right hand, he continues on the alchemy of building a career utilizing his writing skills, with the pursuit of recognition in his eye–for himself and for the entire disabled community.
  • Abstract: Long-term toxicity of bevacizumab therapy in neurofibromatosis 2 patients

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Bevacizumab treatment is associated with tumor shrinkage and hearing improvement in about 50 % of neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) patients with progressive vestibular schwannomas. Hypertension and proteinuria are common side effects of treatment. Here we reviewed the medical records of all NF2 patients treated with compassionate care bevacizumab at our institution.
  • Abstract: Molecular insights into NF2/Merlin tumor suppressor function

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The biochemical events underlying Merlin’s normal function and tumor suppressive activity will be discussed in this Review, with emphasis on recent discoveries that have greatly influenced our understanding of Merlin biology.
  • Abstract: Clinical course of vestibular schwannoma in pediatric neurofibromatosis Type 2

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: In this report, the authors present their clinical experience with pediatric NF2 patients. In particular, they focused on the clinical course of vestibular schwannoma (VS), including the natural growth rate, tumor control, and functional hearing outcomes.
  • Abstract: Clinical and Radiological Response of NF2 Associated Tumours to Bevacizumab in an English Cohort

    Posted:Wed, 30 Apr 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The first 45 patients treated by the UK nationally commissioned specialty NF2 clinics were reviewed serially for both clinical, QOL and radiological response to treatment.
  • Children’s Tumor Foundation and Advocure Collaborate to Fund Synodos for NF2

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:00:00 EST
    The Children’s Tumor Foundation and Advocure NF2 are proud to announce a collaboration to fund Synodos for NF2. Synodos is a highly integrated, multidisciplinary consortium of scientists from varying backgrounds – from basic science, to translational science, to clinicians – who are working together to develop treatments for NF2 in a highly informed and highly collaborative manner.
  • Researchers add gene therapy to cochlear implants in deaf animals, aiming to improve hearing

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:30:00 EST
    Australian researchers are trying a novel way to boost the power of cochlear implants: They used the technology to beam gene therapy into the ears of deaf animals and found the combination improved hearing. The approach reported Wednesday isn’t ready for human testing, but it’s part of growing research into ways to let users of cochlear implants experience richer, more normal sound.
  • Scientists discover a new way to enhance nerve growth following injury

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST
    New research published today out of the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) uncovers a mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury. Dr. Doug Zochodne and his team have discovered a key molecule that directly regulates nerve cell growth in the damaged nervous system. His study was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, with lead authors Drs. Kim Christie and Anand Krishnan.
  • Paving way for virus-like DNA nanodevices that diagnose disease and make drugs

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Boston, MA, say their DNA nanodevice has successfully completed its first pilot mission. Writing in ACS Nano, they conclude the accomplishment provides “a platform for the engineering of sophisticated, translation-ready DNA nanodevices.” Such “smart DNA nanorobots” could use logic to diagnose diseases like cancer earlier than current approaches can. They could also target drugs directly to chosen tumors, or even manufacture them on the spot.
  • Study identifies enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Purdue University researchers have identified an important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases. “It only takes one cell to start a tumor,” Hall said. “This study gives us a platform for figuring out exactly what these enzymes are doing in human cells and how they impact genome stability and the avoidance of cancer.”
  • Online Registry Aims to Drive Brain Disease Research

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST
    A new online project led by researchers at UC San Francisco promises to dramatically cut the time and cost of conducting clinical trials for brain diseases, while also helping scientists analyze and track the brain functions of thousands of volunteers over time.
  • Activating neurons that trigger depression could help treat it, study suggests

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:00:00 EST
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1 in 10 American adults report having some form of depression. Now, researchers have revealed an unlikely strategy for treating the condition; activating neurons in the brain associated with stress-induced depression may actually trigger natural resilience to it.
  • Goggles help surgeons ‘see’ tumours

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Currently doctors treating cancer have two main approaches – bombard the tumour with drugs and radiotherapy or cut it out. The second option is very common but not always successful – because it is often also impossible to tell where the tumour ends and healthy tissue begins. But a new goggle technology being developed in the US lets surgeons “see” which cells are cancerous and which are healthy, increasing the chances that they will be able remove all cancer cells in one operation.
  • In a cloning first, scientists create stem cells from adults

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient’s DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced on April 17, creating patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men. The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved “therapeutic cloning” of adults.
  • Obituary – William Hitselberger M.D. (1930-2014)

    Posted:Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:00:00 EST
    William E Hitselberger, neurosurgeon with House Research Institute, died February 13, 2014. In conjunction with William House MD, Dr. Hitselberger developed innovative approaches to skull base tumors. He performed more than 6,000 surgeries to remove acoustic neuromas.
  • (Abstract) Exon-Skipping Antisense Oligonucleotides to Correct Missplicing in Neurogenetic Diseases

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Around 85% of the germline NF2 mutations are point mutations, among which approximately 25% seem to affect splicing. In the recent work by Castellanos and colleagues, a patient with a deep intronic mutation was identified. This mutation leads to the inclusion of a nonsense pseudoexon of 167nt in the mature mRNA, between exon 13 and exon 14, thus resulting in a truncated Merlin protein. Castellanos and colleagues have been successful in devising a therapeutic strategy for the first time for an NFT 2 case, using a PMO targeting the deep intronic mutation.
  • Paralyzed patients regain movement after spinal implant: study

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Four men who had each been paralyzed from the chest down for more than two years and been told their situation was hopeless regained the ability to voluntarily move their legs and feet – though not to walk – after an electrical device was implanted in their spines, researchers reported on Tuesday. The success, albeit in a small number of patients, offers hope that a fundamentally new treatment can help many of the 6 million paralyzed Americans, including the 1.3 million with spinal cord injuries. Even those whose cases are deemed so hopeless they are not offered further rehabilitation might benefit, scientists say.
  • Sinking Financially, House Research Institute No Longer Employs Researchers

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST
    And then there were 10. From 180 employees at its height, the 67-year-old House Research Institute (HRI) cut staff through layoffs and attrition until only 10 were left, none of whom are performing research. Two dozen former employees continue to work onsite at HRI in offices and labs currently leased by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which also pays their salaries, while 44 former HRI personnel are now employed by the University of Southern California (USC).
  • Muscle paralysis eased by light-sensitive stem cells

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:30:00 EST
    A genetic tweak can make light work of some nervous disorders. Using flashes of light to stimulate modified neurons can restore movement to paralysed muscles. A study demonstrating this, carried out in mice, lays the path for using such “optogenetic” approaches to treat nerve disorders ranging from spinal cord injury to epilepsy and motor neuron disease.
  • This scientist just might cure cancer

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Texan Jim Allison’s breakthroughs in immunotherapy have brought him a raft of awards, and thankful patients. Allison, chairman of immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, is credited today with one of the most important breakthroughs in cancer history, the discovery that finally frees the immune system to attack tumors – a dramatic departure from the existing models of treating the disease. Allison did it – made the discovery, then translated it into a drug – in a climate that wasn’t exactly welcoming.
  • Quick, simple blood test for solid cancers looks feasible

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have devised an ultra-sensitive method for finding DNA from cancer tumors in the bloodstream. Previous research has already shown circulating tumor DNA holds promise as a biomarker for cancer, but existing methods for detecting it are not sufficiently sensitive and do not cover a diverse range of cancers.
  • Scientists regenerate immune organ in mice

    Posted:Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:00:00 EST
    British scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore an organ in a living animal, a discovery they say may pave the way for similar techniques to be used in humans in future. The University of Edinburgh team rebuilt the thymus – an organ central to the immune system and found in front of the heart – of very old mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age.
  • (Abstract) Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Vestibular Schwannoma Treatment: A Review of the Literature, Trends, and Outcomes

    Posted:Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To review the useful hearing preservation and tumor control outcomes of microsurgery (MS), stereotactic radiation (SR), conservative management (CM), and chemotherapy (ChT) for Neurofibromatosis type 2 vestibular schwannomas.
  • Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin

    Posted:Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:00:00 EST
    A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism. The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
  • Avoiding brain damage during surgery through anesthetic technique

    Posted:Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that a commonly used anesthetic technique to reduce the blood pressure of patients undergoing surgery could increase the risk of starving the brain of oxygen.
  • Party drug Ketamine could help treat severe depression: research

    Posted:Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:00 EST
    The party drug ketamine could one day be used to help some people suffering from severe depression, according to British scientists who gave infusions of the narcotic nicknamed “special K” to patients. Researchers who tested the drug on 28 people with major depressive disorder found ketamine quickly helped relieve the condition for some – and made a number of them completely well again for up to several weeks.
  • New Guidance System Could Improve Minimally Invasive Surgery

    Posted:Mon, 31 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a computerized process that could make minimally invasive surgery more accurate and streamlined using equipment already common in the operating room. In a report published recently in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology, the researchers say initial testing of the algorithm shows that their image-based guidance system is potentially superior to conventional tracking systems that have been the mainstay of surgical navigation over the last decade.
  • (Video) WFAA News Network cooking segment with 10 year old Conner who has NF2

    Posted:Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Chef Mo Assi and junior chef Connor, who has NF2, guest spot on WFAA Dallas-Fort Worth News network to promote Battle of the Chefs: a benefit for the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation.
  • Self-healing muscle grown in the lab

    Posted:Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Scientists have grown living muscle in the lab that not only looks and works like the real thing, but also heals by itself – a significant step in tissue engineering. Ultimately, they hope the lab-grown muscle could be used to repair damage in humans.
  • Medical First: 3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted in Woman

    Posted:Mon, 31 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Doctors in the Netherlands report that they have for the first time successfully replaced most of a human’s skull with a 3-D printed plastic one — and likely saved a woman’s life in the process. Verweij noted that in some brain operations it’s common for part of the skull to be temporarily removed to reduce pressure on the brain, then put back later or replaced by an artificial implant. In this case, doctors inserted nearly an entire plastic skull that was manufactured with the help of Anatomics, an Australian medical device company that specializes in 3-D printing.
  • Cancer treatment revolution potential with new drug

    Posted:Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    A new study at the University of Warwick, published today in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, has developed a new drug that can manipulate the body’s natural signalling and energy systems, allowing the body to attack and shut down cancerous cells.
  • Scientists Unveil New ‘Atlas’ for Navigating Human Genome

    Posted:Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Scientists have built the clearest picture yet of how human genes are regulated in the vast array of cell types in the body — work that should help researchers target genes linked to disease. In the journal Nature, an international consortium described how they mapped a network of switches, built into human DNA, that controls where and when genes are turned on and off. The three-year-long project, called FANTOM5 and led by the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan, involved more than 250 scientists across 20 countries and regions.
  • Proteomic screening identifies a YAP-driven signaling network linked to tumor cell proliferation in human schwannomas

    Posted:Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Tumor cell proliferation in human schwannomas is linked to a signaling network controlled by the Hippo effector YAP. Her2, Her3, PDGFRß, Axl, and Tie2, as well as YAP, represent potentially valuable therapeutic targets. However, the variability of their expression between tumors may result in strong differences in the response to targeted therapy.
  • Lining Up Our Sights

    Posted:Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Neurologists at LMU have studied the role of the vestibular system, which controls balance, in optimizing how we direct our gaze. The results could lead to more effective rehabilitation of patients with vestibular or cerebellar dysfunction.
  • FDA OKs Cochlear Device for Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 13:00:00 EST
    The US and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first implantable hearing device for people aged 18 years and older with severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss of high-frequency sounds in both ears but who can still hear low-frequency sounds with or without a hearing aid.
  • Proteins that control energy use necessary to form stem cells

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Two proteins that control how cells metabolize glucose play a key role in the formation of human stem cells. Studies suggest these proteins which also play a role in the process that transforms normal cells into cancer stem cells, might also be targets for new cancer therapies.
  • IBM’s Watson computing system to help sequence tumour DNA for treatment of brain cancer

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    IBM is teaming up with the New York Genome Center to help fight brain cancer. The company said Wednesday that its Watson cloud computing system will be used in partnership with a New York-based genetic research centre mainly to help sequence DNA for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common type of brain cancer in U.S. adults.
  • Anti-VEGF antibodies mitigate the development of radiation necrosis in mouse brain

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To quantify the effectiveness of anti-VEGF antibodies (bevacizumab and B20-4.1.1) as mitigators of radiation-induced, CNS (brain) necrosis in a mouse model. The observation that anti-VEGF antibodies are effective mitigants of necrosis in our mouse model will enable a wide variety of studies aimed at dose optimization and timing and mechanism of action with direct relevance to ongoing clinical trials of bevacizumab as a treatment for radiation necrosis.
  • Linac-based stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery in patients with meningioma

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: This large study showed that FSRT is an effective and safe treatment modality with high PFS-rates for intracranial meningioma. We identified “pathological grading”and and “prior surgery”as significant prognostic factors.
  • Inherited gene copies ‘randomly activated,’ study suggests

    Posted:Sat, 22 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in the UK say that their findings, published in the journal Science, may explain why some people become ill even if they have the same gene copy as healthy relatives.
  • Chemoprevention for NF2: just over the horizon?

    Posted:Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:00:00 EST
    In the current issue of Neuro-Oncology, Dr Giovannini and colleagues report the effect of rapamycin on NF2-deficient schwannoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo. The data presented in the study provide further evidence that rapamycin can increase the time-to-progression of schwannomas in mouse models of NF2.
  • Challenges remain before docs use whole-genome sequencing

    Posted:Wed, 19 Mar 2014 15:00:00 EST
    Before doctors use technology to evaluate every letter in a person’s DNA to detect or diagnose medical conditions, several hurdles must be overcome, according to a new study. Researchers found that sequencing a person’s whole genome – all three billion or so DNA nucleotides in the chromosomes – required a significant amount of manpower for a small payoff.
  • On Data Sharing, Pharmaceutical Companies Finally Open Up

    Posted:Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Over the past few years, the pharmaceutical industry has been embroiled in controversy over access to clinical trial data. At issue is the ability for researchers to independently verify study results and, consequently, improve patient treatments that can lead to better health and lower costs. In response, a few drug makers have recently proposed differing plans for providing access, although the extent to which their efforts will assuage concerns remains to be seen.
  • Surgeons perform first auditory brainstem implant operation in Northeast Ohio

    Posted:Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Surgeons at University Hospitals Case Medical Center have completed the first auditory brainstem implant (ABI) operation in Northeast Ohio on a woman who has lost most of her hearing due to benign tumors on her auditory nerves. The patient has a relatively rare genetic condition known as Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The incidence is estimated to be one in 40,000.
  • Cornerstone Pharma demonstrates ability to disrupt growth of cancer cells

    Posted:Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Research by Drs. Bingham, Zachar and their colleagues at Stony Brook University has led to the development of technology to design drugs that disrupt cancer metabolism. Targeting cancer cell metabolism is a promising area for cancer chemotherapeutic development. In 2001, Cornerstone and Stony Brook researchers initiated a collaboration to evaluate the basic mechanisms of actions behind this class of agents. Clinical trials were initiated in 2008 and since then, the Cornerstone-sponsored clinical trials have progressed steadily, moving into Phase II trials in 2013.
  • First device to prevent migraine headaches wins FDA approval

    Posted:Tue, 18 Mar 2014 07:30:00 EST
    The US Food and Drug Administration has given its first approval for the marketing of a device for preventing migraine headaches. The federal agency says the device, which comes in the form of a headband that delivers a nerve-stimulating low electrical current, may bring relief to patients who cannot tolerate current migraine drugs.
  • The Future of Brain Implants

    Posted:Tue, 18 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come.
  • NIH announces recruitment for clinical trial to test new tinnitus treatment device

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST
    The new study uses a technique known as vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) that takes advantage of the brain’s ability to reconfigure itself (neuroplasticity). During the therapy, patients wear headphones and hear a series of single frequency tones, paired with stimulation to the vagus nerve, a large nerve that runs from the head and neck to the abdomen. When stimulated, the vagus nerve releases acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and other chemicals that encourage neuroplasticity.
  • Update on Medicare Part D Changes

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    The ABTA (American Brain Tumor Association) is pleased to share that within 24 hours of commenting on the proposed changes to the Medicare Part D and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has revoked the proposed changes to Medicare Part D. This is so important to brain tumor patients and their families, who need access to these drugs classes that may be critical to their care.
  • Imbalanced hearing is more than a mild disability

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 09:30:00 EST
    Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of asymmetric hearing loss in adults and children. New studies indicate that people with asymmetric hearing experience greater communication difficulties than previously assumed.
  • MRI Without Magnet Removal in Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Patients With Cochlear and Auditory Brainstem Implants

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: To assess the impact on image quality of MRI without magnet removal in cochlear implant (CI) and auditory brainstem implant (ABI) users with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Conclusion: MRI scanning without magnet removal is safe and well tolerated in NF2 patients with auditory implants. With appropriate MRI sequences, the image quality is not significantly impaired.
  • The role of NF2 gene mutations and pathogenesis-related proteins in sporadic vestibular schwannomas in young individuals

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 08:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: In this study, we evaluated clinical behaviors of 12 young sporadic VSs by the statistical comparison with a matched series of 145 adult cases. These results led us to suggest that high frequency of NF2 mutations may play a critical role in early tumorigenesis of young VSs. Moreover, merlin deficiency or phosphorylation status of merlin was involved in their earlier development.
  • UK to fast-track some drugs under early access scheme

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Britain is to accelerate access to ground-breaking drugs for serious conditions under a new early-access plan that the government hopes will benefit both patients and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Longitudinal evaluation of quality of life in 288 patients with neurofibromatosis 2

    Posted:Sat, 15 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The disease-focused NF2 impact on quality of life (NFTI-QOL) patient questionnaire was assessed as an outcome measure for treatment in a multi-centre study.
  • Researchers Increase and Decrease Pain Sensitivity Using Light

    Posted:Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:00:00 EST
    Right now these mice are helping scientists study pain — how and why it occurs, and why some people feel it so intensely without any obvious injury. But Delp, PhD, professor of bioengineering and of mechanical engineering, hopes one day the work he does with these mice could also help people who are in chronic, debilitating pain.
  • World’s First Noninvasive Brain Tumor Treatment with Focused Ultrasound Thermal Ablation

    Posted:Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    For the first time, focused ultrasound was successfully used in the treatment of a brain tumor. The adult patient had a recurrent glioma, a portion of which was thermally ablated using InSightec’s Exablate Neuro system. The procedure was performed to assess the feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound in treating brain tumors; it was not intended to demonstrate efficacy. The treatment was conducted at the FUS Center of University Children’s Hospital Zurich by a team led by Javier Fandino, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery at Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland and Ernst Martin, M.D., Professor of Neuroradiology, University Children’s Hospital Zurich.
  • Children’s Tumor Foundation Announces Historic New Initiative in Neurofibromatosis Research

    Posted:Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:30:00 EST
    The Children’s Tumor Foundation, the leading non-governmental organization dedicated to neurofibromatosis (NF) research, announced today an important new research collaboration called Synodos, a first-of-its-kind initiative dedicated to defeating the rare genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). This unique consortium brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists from twelve world-class labs at academic and medical centers of excellence, who have pledged to work closely together – sharing information, datasets, results and more – at every step in research development, with the goal of speeding up the drug discovery process.
  • Image-guided stereotactic radiotherapy for patients with vestibular schwannoma

    Posted:Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Local tumor control and functional outcome after linac-based stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) for vestibular schwannoma (VS) were assessed. In all, 250 patients with VS were treated: 190 patients with tumors less than 2 cm diameter underwent SRS and 60 patients with tumors greater than 2 to 3.5 cm underwent FSRT. Using SRS to treat small VS results in good local control rates. FSRT for larger lesions also seems effective. Severe treatment-related complications are not frequent. Therefore, image-guided stereotactic radiotherapy is an appropriate alternative to microsurgery for patients with VS.
  • Scientist Urges Withdrawal of His own ‘breakthrough’ Stem Cell Research

    Posted:Mon, 10 Mar 2014 06:00:00 EST
    A Japanese scientist called on Monday for his own headline-grabbing study on stem cells to be withdrawn from publication, saying its findings had now been thrown into too much doubt. The research – hailed when it came out in January as a breakthrough that could herald a new era of medical biology – was covered widely in Japan and across the world after it was published in the highly reputable science journal Nature. But since then, there have been reports that other scientists have been unable to replicate the Japanese team’s results and that there may have been problems with its data and images.
  • In Vivo Functional Analysis of the Human NF2 Tumor Suppressor Gene in Drosophila

    Posted:Sat, 08 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Here we describe experiments in which we used Drosophila as an in vivo system to test the functions of the normal human NF2 gene products and patient-derived mutant alleles. Although the predominant NF2 gene isoform, isoform 1, could functionally replace the Drosophila Merlin gene, a second isoform with a distinct C-terminal tail could not. Immunofluorescence studies show that the two isoforms have distinct subcellular localizations when expressed in the polarized imaginal epithelium, and function in genetic rescue assays correlates with apical localization of the NF2 protein.
  • Visual Information Restoration and Rehabilitation via Sensory Substitution Technology

    Posted:Sat, 08 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Richard Hogle of Wicab, Inc. led a team of interdisciplinary scientists at Wicab, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Lighthouse International, and Carnegie Mellon University to further develop the BrainPort V100 device. The V100 is a visual prosthetic that enables perception of visual information using the tongue and a camera system as a paired substitute for the eye. Visual information is collected from a video camera and translated into gentle electrical stimulation patterns on the surface of the tongue. The concept is similar to reading Braille with the fingertips. With training, users can perceive shape, size, location and motion of objects in their environment. This technology is intended to augment, and not replace, other assistive methods such as the white cane or guide dog.
  • NIDCD Researchers Find Strong Link between Hearing Loss and Depression in Adults

    Posted:Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, have found a strong association between hearing impairment and depression among U.S. adults of all ages, particularly in women. The findings were similar among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.
  • Lab on a Chip Features Drug Delivery Device that Could Restore Hearing

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Draper Laboratory has demonstrated new advances miniaturizing in a drug delivery device that could help patients recover from hearing loss. The lab’s progress on the intracochlear drug delivery device, including in the incorporation of a planar micropump that brings the system towards the miniaturization needed for clinicial trials, is featured in the Feb. 21 issue of the journal Lab on a Chip.
  • Fighting cancer with light-activated drug delivery by nanoparticle

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST
    A new type of treatment called “light-activated drug delivery” is showing promise as a way to give doctors control over precisely where and when drugs are delivered inside the patient’s body. Now, researchers have developed a light-activated way to target cancer cells without hurting healthy tissue by using drug-carrying nanoparticles.
  • Cochlear implants — with no exterior hardware

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Researchers at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL), together with physicians from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), have developed a new, low-power signal-processing chip that could lead to a cochlear implant that requires no external hardware. The implant would be wirelessly recharged and would run for about eight hours on each charge.
  • New therapies raise hope for a breakthrough in tackling cancer

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Michael Harris joined a clinical trial at Georgetown University, one of scores that have sprung up around the country to test a new class of cancer drugs called immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Two weeks after his first infusion, Harris’s primary tumor was fading, along with the black cancerous beads around it. A month later, his liver and lungs were clean.
  • Proteomic screening identifies a YAP-driven signaling network linked to tumor cell proliferation in human schwannomas

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: The goal of our study was to evaluate the expression and activity of these signaling pathways in human schwannomas in order to identify new potential therapeutic targets.
  • Man Sees Wife with NF2 Dying Message

    Posted:Mon, 03 Mar 2014 06:00:00 EST
    After a week of trying, a local man was finally able to view a video his wife left him before she died. Last week, when Charles tried to do just that, he found that Facebook had “memorialized” his wife’s account after determining she had died. That status meant the account would remain locked and all of Shannon’s privacy settings would remain exactly the same, meaning Charles could not locate the video. Then he figured out how to access the video through the iCloud that backed up data from his wife’s old cell phone on which the video was originally recorded.
  • Exon Skipping: Borrowing from Nature to Treat Rare Genetic Diseases

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST
    For decades researchers have been trying to co-opt nature’s way of copying only some of a gene’s information into messenger RNA (mRNA) to bypass harmful mutations as if they are typos. The strategy, called exon skipping, is finally nearing the clinic.
  • For Biology Professor, Cutting Edge Research ‘A Team Effort’

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Robert Bellin, associate professor of biology at Holy Cross, is currently researching the causes of neurofibromatosis type-2 in a laboratory setting with his junior and senior students, a project he refers to as “a team effort.” Bellin became interested in neurofibromatosis during a post-doctoral position at Boston Children’s Hospital after earning his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Iowa State University. He has conducted research on the disorder for 14 years.
  • Scientists Make Artificial Muscles

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Fishing line and sewing thread can create powerful artificial muscles that could be used to help disabled people or to build incredibly strong robots, a new study says. Compared to human muscle of the same weight and length, the artificial muscles can lift 100 times more weight and make 100 times more mechanical power, the international team of researchers claimed.
  • Fishing rod reels brain tumour cells to their death

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Let’s go fishing… for cancer cells. A tiny rod has been developed that reels in brain tumor cells and guides them out of the brain to their death. Rather than engineer ever more toxic drugs to kill glioblastoma cells deep in the brain, Ravi Bellamkonda – based at Emory University School of Medicine and Georgia Institute of Technology, both in Atlanta – and his team wondered if they could move the tumors to a more accessible location.
  • Dying Message on Facebook Gone

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Shannon Wachal, 26, died on Valentine’s Day of a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. She left behind videos, personal messages, for her husband and daughter that she stored on her Facebook account. But when her husband Charles tried to access them, the account was locked in a memorialized state. Facebook has been trying to work with Charles and since Friday, he has been waiting for a response. When he finally heard from them, it wasn’t the news he was expecting. Facebook said his wife Shannon did not have any additional videos set to private.
  • Detecting and targeting tumor relapse by its resistance to innate effectors at early recurrence

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Tumor recurrence represents a major clinical challenge. Our data show that emergent recurrent tumors acquire a phenotype radically different from that of their originating primary tumors. This phenotype allows them to evade a host-derived innate immune response elicited by the progression from minimal residual disease (MRD) to actively growing recurrence.
  • Could One Cancer Test Find Unrelated Tumors?

    Posted:Mon, 24 Feb 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Researchers looked at 12 major types of cancer and identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that seem to drive the development and progression of a range of tumors. The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments. The study, published in Nature, shows that some of the same genes commonly mutated in certain cancers also occur in seemingly unrelated tumors. For example, a gene mutated in 25 percent of leukaemia cases in the study also was found in tumors of the breast, rectum, head and neck, kidney, lung, ovary, and uterus.
  • How a simple injection could help shrink a brain tumour

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:00:00 EST
    University of Leeds scientists are exploring whether a simple injection could help shrink a brain tumour as part of groundbreaking research. The research team hopes to harness the power of certain viruses that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones. Such viruses target and ‘invade’ tumour cells, multiplying inside the invaded cell until it bursts and is destroyed. They can also be primed with anti-cancer drugs to boost their destructive potential as they home in on tumour cells.
  • The PRMRP Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriation Announcement

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 14:00:00 EST
    The Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Defense Appropriations Act provides $200 million to the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). The funding is provided to support select medical research projects of clear scientific merit and direct relevance to military health. This year research support includes Tinnitus.
  • X-Ray Glasses Help Surgeons See Cancer

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST
    A team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a pair of high-tech glasses that could help surgeons visualize cancer cells. The glasses contain custom video technology, a head-mounted display and targeted molecular agent that binds to cancer cells. When viewed from behind the glasses, the cancer cells glow blue.
  • DNA editing may spell the end for genetic diseases

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Debilitating conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia and haemophilia may soon be curable through the technique in which ‘exceedingly rare’ anomalies can be captured and amplified. ‘For our method to work, we needed to find a way to efficiently identify a single mutation among hundreds of normal, healthy cells,’ said report co-author Dr Yuichiro Miyaoka, of the Gladstone Institutes in California.
  • Gene Therapy: Ingenious

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 10:00:00 EST
    It sounds like science fiction, and for years it seemed as though it was just that: fiction. But the idea of gene therapy—introducing copies of healthy genes into people who lack them, to treat disease—is at last looking as if it may become science fact. The most recent success, announced last month in the Lancet, was of an experimental treatment for choroideremia, a type of blindness.
  • Axl/Gas6/NFIB signalling in schwannoma pathological proliferation, adhesion and survival

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 09:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: Here, we demonstrated strong overexpression and activation of Axl receptor as well as its ligand Gas6 in human schwannoma primary cells compared to normal Schwann cells.
  • NIH, industry and non-profits join forces to speed validation of disease targets

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:30:00 EST
    The Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) aims to distinguish biological targets of disease most likely to respond to new therapies and characterize biological indicators of disease, known as biomarkers. Through the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH), AMP partners will invest more than $230 million over five years in the first projects, which focus on Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and the autoimmune disorders rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Adding chemotherapy following radiation treatment show promise for gliomas

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:00:00 EST
    Adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain tumor, who received a chemotherapy regimen following completion of radiation therapy, lived longer than patients who received radiation therapy alone, according to long-term follow-up results from a National Institutes of Health-supported randomized controlled clinical trial.
  • FB is 10: Strong support for survivors

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 07:00:00 EST
    Finding out that you have an illness or genetic disorder is tough on anyone, what more when you or your loved one has a rare condition that many don’t understand. That is why many patients and/or survivors of several conditions create support groups on social media such as Facebook. Keisha Petrus is a NF2 patient who was diagnosed with the disorder when she was just four years old and has since received several surgeries to remove the tumours.
  • Give the Data to the People

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 06:30:00 EST
    Today, more than half of the clinical trials in the United States, including many sponsored by academic and governmental institutions, are not published within two years of their completion. Often they are never published at all. The unreported results, not surprisingly, are often those in which a drug failed to perform better than a placebo. As a result, evidence-based medicine is, at best, based on only some of the evidence. One of the most troubling implications is that full information on a drug’s effects may never be discovered or released.
  • We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer

    Posted:Fri, 14 Feb 2014 06:00:00 EST
    Despite great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.
  • CDMRP Neurofibromatosis Research Program for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14)

    Posted:Mon, 03 Feb 2014 07:00:00 EST
    The FY14 Defense Appropriations Act provides $15 million (M) to the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program (NFRP) to support innovative, high-impact neurofibromatosis research. This program is administered by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) through the Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
  • Some supplements might fuel tumors, study finds

    Posted:Wed, 29 Jan 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Certain supplements that people once hoped would fight cancer may in fact fuel tumors, possibly by knocking out some of the body’s natural defenses against cancer, Swedish researchers reported Wednesday.
  • Scientists discover a new, simpler way to make stem cells

    Posted:Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:00:00 EST
    A team of Boston and Japanese researchers stunned the scientific world Wednesday by revealing a remarkably simple and unexpected way to create stem cells able to give rise to any tissue in the body.
  • Hearing Loss and Brain Shrinkage With Age

    Posted:Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Older adults with impaired hearing may have a faster rate of brain shrinkage as they age, a new study suggests. A number of studies have found that older people with hearing loss tend to have a quicker decline in their memory and thinking skills, compared to those with normal hearing.
  • Wells Center researchers “build” a better mouse model for neurofibromatosis type 2

    Posted:Mon, 27 Jan 2014 15:00:00 EST
    Mouse models of human disease are often key parts of biomedical research since they provide scientists a chance to understand the origins and progression of a disease — and begin testing potential therapies — in ways that may not be possible with tests in cell cultures in the petri dish.
  • Research Highlight: Schwannomas and Their Pathogenesis

    Posted:Mon, 27 Jan 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Merlin has multiple functions, including within the nucleus and at the cell membrane, and this review summarises our current understanding of the mechanisms by which merlin loss is involved in schwannoma pathogenesis, highlighting potential areas for therapeutic intervention.
  • New computer model may aid personalized cancer care

    Posted:Mon, 27 Jan 2014 13:00:00 EST
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have developed a mathematical model to predict how a patient’s tumor is likely to behave and which of several possible treatments is most likely to be effective.
  • Aspirin Intake May Halt Growth of Vestibular Schwannomas/Acoustic Neuromas

    Posted:Sat, 25 Jan 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Massachusetts General Hospital have demonstrated, for the first time, that aspirin intake correlates with halted growth of vestibular schwannomas (also known as acoustic neuromas), a sometimes lethal intracranial tumor that typically causes hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Patient-reported outcomes in neurofibromatosis and schwannomatosis clinical trials

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: This article describes the PRO Working Group of the Response Evaluation in Neurofibromatosis and Schwannomatosis (REiNS) Collaboration, its main goals, methods for identifying appropriate PRO measures for NF clinical trials, and recommendations for assessing pain intensity. Vice president of AdvocureNF2, Barbara Franklin, provided input for this article.
  • International deal to screen potential cancer drugs using DNA ‘barcodes’

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:30:00 EST
    An innovative screening technology that tags compounds with unique strands of DNA – like barcodes – will be used to assess up to a billion prototype drug molecules for anti-cancer activity, under a collaboration announced Wednesday between The Institute of Cancer Research, London, Cancer Research Technology (CRT) and Denmark-based drug discovery company Nuevolution A/S.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Prevent and Treat Nerve Damage, Research Suggests

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:00:00 EST
    Research from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have the potential to protect nerves from injury and help them to regenerate. When nerves are damaged because of an accident or injury, patients experience pain, weakness and muscle paralysis which can leave them disabled, and recovery rates are poor.
  • Antiangiogenic agents for nonmalignant brain tumors

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: During treatment (range 4 to 21 months, mean 9.1) with antiangiogenic agents, two patients with an atypical meningioma and radiation necrosis had dramatic partial response, the six NF2 patients had stable or slightly improved disease, and two meningioma patients had disease progression.
  • Not all FDA-approved drugs get same level of testing

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:00:00 EST
    Patients might assume that all approved drugs are created equal. Yet new research finds that there can be big differences in the amount of testing that drugs and medical devices go through before being approved or given to patients, according to a series of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • New Truths That Only One Can See

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:30:00 EST
    The fear that much published research is tainted has led to proposals to make replication easier by providing more detailed documentation, including videos of difficult procedures. A call for the establishment of independent agencies to replicate experiments has led to a backlash, a fear that perfectly good results will be thrown out.
  • Inhibition of SIRT2 in merlin/NF2-mutant Schwann cells triggers necrosis

    Posted:Thu, 23 Jan 2014 10:00:00 EST
    Research Highlight: In a pilot high-throughput screen of the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds, we assayed for compounds capable of reducing viability of mouse Schwann cells (MSC) with Nf2 inactivation as a cellular model for human NF2 schwannomas.
  • FCC seeking public comment on captioning in online video clips [pdf]

    Posted:Wed, 15 Jan 2014 13:30:00 EST
    The FCC’s Media Bureau issued a Public Notice [DA 13-2392] seeking comment on rules regarding the closed captioning of IP-delivered video programming. Comments are due January 27, 2014 and reply comments are due February 26, 2014.
  • New research funding for pioneering MRI technique

    Posted:Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:30:00 EST
    The Brain Tumour Charity and children’s charity Action Medical Research are co-funding Professor Andrew Peet at the University of Birmingham to develop Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy – a new technique to give us more insight from MRI scans of children’s brain tumours.
  • mTORC1 inhibition delays growth of neurofibromatosis type 2 schwannoma

    Posted:Sat, 11 Jan 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Research Highlight: We found that treatment with the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin reduced the severity of NF2-related Schwann cell tumorigenesis without significant toxicity.
  • Adoptive cell therapy: Honing that killer instinct

    Posted:Wed, 08 Jan 2014 11:30:00 EST
    Genetically altered immune cells are helping to push life-threatening cancers into remission and generating a buzz.
  • Contrast Agent Linked with Brain Abnormalities on MRI

    Posted:Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:30:00 EST
    For the first time, researchers have confirmed an association between a common magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent and abnormalities on brain MRI, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The new study raises the possibility that a toxic component of the contrast agent may remain in the body long after administration.