CERN Supported Research Shows Improvements in Patient Care and Outcomes

— Categories: Press Release     Posted on January 18, 2019

Since its founding in 2006, the CERN Foundation has been committed to improving the care and outcome of people with ependymoma through community support and research efforts. Today, we are excited to share that our support of research and patient and caregiver participation in the research have made a significant impact.

The key findings of the research studies, which focus on the role of chemotherapy for recurrent ependymoma and genetic and environmental risk factors among adult ependymoma patients, were presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO), held November 15 to 18, 2018, in New Orleans. The meeting had a record attendance of 2,400 registrants and CERN was honored to be among them.

A synopsis of the research findings shared at SNO is provided below. The research was conducted at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research Neuro-Oncology Branch, a participating CERN center, as part of NCI-CONNECT (read about CERN’s partnership with NCI-CONNECT). Thank you, immensely, patients, caregivers and families, for your participation over the past 13 years. It is you who have made these findings possible.

Abstract Presentation: Objective Response and Clinical Benefit in Recurrent Ependymoma in Adults: Final Report of CERN 08-02: A Phase II Study of Dose-dense Temozolomide and Lapatinib

Mark Gilbert, M.D.

Ependymoma is a rare tumor for which the role of chemotherapy has not been established either for newly diagnosed or recurrent disease. We report on the first prospective adult clinical trial of chemotherapy for recurrent ependymoma.

50 adult patients were treated with the chemotherapy drugs: temozolomide and lapatinib. Efficacy was determined using MRI imaging of either the brain or spine. Clinical benefit was evaluated using assessment of symptom burden and performance status. Primary endpoint was progression free survival. Additional endpoints included 12-month progression free survival rate, objective response and clinical benefit.

Results from this study demonstrate evidence of clinical activity, including objective responses and a nearly 40% stable disease rate at one year, with improvement in disease-related symptoms. This combination regimen was well tolerated and should be considered as a standard salvage regimen for adult patients with recurrent ependymoma.

Read full report >

Abstract Poster: Preliminary Examination of Confirmed Glioma Risk Factors Among Ependymoma Patients in the Neuro-Oncology Branch Natural History Study (NOB-NHS) and Risk and Outcomes Study (ROS) 

Alvina Acquaye

The Glioma International Case-Control (GICC) study is the largest study to date examining genetic and environmental risk factors for adult gliomas. Inverse associations have been repeatedly confirmed for allergies, atopic skin diseases, and viral infections. Evaluations of these risk factors, specifically ependymoma, has not been completed, due to the rarity compared to other glioma types. Therefore, the purpose of this report is evaluating the associations of these confirmed glioma risk factors with ependymomas.

128 adult ependymoma patients enrolled in the NOB-ROS. Survey sections related to history of asthma/allergies, common infectious diseases, and regular antihistamine/anti-inflammatory use were examined. Ependymoma patients exposed to these factors were calculated and compared glioma cases.

We have found that asthma and allergy effects may be more pronounced among ependymoma cases compared to gliomas overall. However, effects of antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs are much worse in ependymoma cases compared to published effects in all cases. This is the first report in adult ependymoma patients exploring risk factors reported in other gliomas and provides preliminary understanding of potential differences in ependymomas. Further analysis should be explored to identify significant areas of concern.

Read full report >

This study is currently open for enrollment.

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