Monday, September 2, 2013

Good Meningioma News (Yes, that sounds weird)

This headline grabbed my eyeballs:“Johns Hopkins Researchers Find Promising Therapeutic Target for Hard-To-Treat Brain Tumor.” 

My first thought was “Yipee!” I wanted to read more. So I clicked on a link that took me to an article on   

According to the article, “Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found a specific protein in nearly 100 percent of high-grade meningiomas — the most common form of brain tumor — suggesting a new target for therapies for a cancer that does not respond to current chemotherapy.”

My second thought was “what’s the difference between a high grade and a low grade brain tumor?

The article explained in terms that even I could understand that “Most low-grade meningiomas located in easy-to-reach locations can be treated successfully with surgery and radiation. But more atypical, higher-grade tumors are much more difficult to eradicate and are deadlier. “

Then I thought, “Ok, this means that meningioma victims will now wait years until the average victim will have some real help.”  

I was wrong as the article noted that “Typically there is a lag time before a laboratory finding like this leads to a clear path forward to help patients. But in this case, since there is already a clinical trial underway, we have a chance of helping people sooner rather than later,” reported Gregory J. Riggins, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the senior author of the study published online in the journal Cancer Immunology Research.

Lastly, while a number of organizations helped fund the research, I wasn’t surprised that Meningioma Mommas – led by meningioma survivor and author Liz Holzemer – was one of the organizations funding the research.

Image credit: <a href=''>olivierl / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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