Friday, April 27, 2012

Search and Destroy: The Doom of Glioblastoma Multiform

Search and Destroy: The Doom of Glioblastoma Multiform

Nic Zavala

In 2010, Glioblastoma Multiform (GBM) claimed 2,000 Americans and put more than 3,000 on its list. GBM is extremely aggressive and is a Stage IV malignant tumor. Patients diagnosed with GBM hardly make it past the first anniversary of diagnosis. A better understanding of GBM is urgent as many of these brain tumors are not discovered until they are in Stage IV and is  taking over the brain (see above image).

GBM is mostly found as a primary tumor and is noted for its extreme motility and local invasiveness through the white matter of the brain. Healthy, adult neurons are normally terminally differentiated and have lost their ability to actively seek destinations as they do in early development. Not GBM cells who appear to have re-gained their functions of the past. Their motility renders a complete and successful resection of cancerous brain-matter extremely difficult that will end in novel tumor growth.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Very Helpful Source.

I found a very helpful source when researching my project that I wanted to share...

Its basic information but also somehow very comprehensive ("This site is designed primarily for use by qualified physicians and other medical professionals")  and has external links. Its similar to WebMD but has WAY less garbage. It is more prognostic than diagnostic.

Good luck! And be sure to comment on my awesome post coming soon about my topic!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Followup to Dr. Gambhir’s Study

A nanostar nanoparticle (1)
In the blog post titled Nanoparticles Light up Brain Tumors published by Jackie, a comment was put forth asking if drug delivery would be possible with this newfound nanotechnology approach to detecting brain tumors. I found an article that directly answers this question in a positive light.

Monday, April 23, 2012

HSPPC-96: Vaccine Against Cancer?


Figure #1: Non-specific vaccine image(9)
While browsing the Internet recently, I came across an article which proved to be very interesting. It claimed that there has been a vaccine found to show an increase in survival-rate for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma published on April 17, 2012 (1). Not only that, but this vaccine, HSPPC-96, was actually individually formed using cells isolated from individual patient's removed tumors.

I tried to find the a published study that had inspired the many articles on this new vaccine. Unfortunately however, I could not find it, most probably attributed to the fact that this study is so recent. But I did find many websites that were advertising for patients with glioblastoma to participate in clinical trials (2). I also did find a link to where the study will be presented at the American Association for Clinical Oncology (8), therefore, I was less skeptical on the validity of the article I was reading. Fortunately, there have been studies conducted in relation to HSPPC-96 for melanoma (3)(4), renal cell carcinoma (5), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (6), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (7). I also discovered that this drug has been formed after the discovery of cancer immunity caused by gp96, a polypetide which seems to be the cause of all this hub-bub.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thalidomide Treatment

In my research on how cancer avoids detection and elimination by the immune system I came across an interesting story of a potential treatment for cancer. This treatment is especially interesting and prudent because the key to the drugs effectiveness is the elimination of the 5th hallmark of cancer, angiogenesis. The interesting part of the story is that the drug was once the cause of terrible birth defects.