New Tumor-targeting Agent Treats Variety of Cancers
A recent study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found a new class of tumor-targeting agents that can seek out and find dozens of solid tumors, even illuminating brain cancer stem cells that resist current treatments. Years of animal studies and early human clinical trials show that this tumor-targeting alkylphosphocholine (APC) molecule can deliver two types of "payloads" directly to cancer cells; a radioactive or fluorescent imaging label, or a radioactive medicine that binds and kills cancer cells. One of the study’s lead co-authors, John S. Kuo, MD, PhD, FAANS, who was initially skeptical, says "It is a very broad cancer-targeting agent — both because of the many cancers that test positive, and its ability to detect cancer throughout the body. The APC analogs revealed clusters of cancer in patients that were small, asymptomatic and previously undetected by physicians." To read more about this study, click here.
Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, Discusses Study of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database
Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, director of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N²QOD), addressed attendees at the 2014 American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting regarding the study of patient outcomes and responses to therapy following surgery for lumbar and spine disorders. The N²QOD registry provided the data for the study, which reported disability scores 12 months after surgery for lumbar disc herniation and spondylolisthesis. To view Dr. Asher’s video synopsis of this study, click here.
AANS, NREF Partner with Brainlab on Implementing a Radiosurgery Patient Registry
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) have announced a collaborative effort with Brainlab, Inc., to develop a groundbreaking patient registry for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatments. Data from 30 diverse, high-volume sites will produce information from thousands of patients with brain metastases, benign brain tumors and arteriovenous malformations. The registry is aimed at establishing national benchmarks for SRS treatments in order to provide clinicians and patients the data they need to make informed treatment decisions. To read more, click here.
2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting Registration Now Open for AANS Members
General registration for the 2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is now open to all AANS members. The 83rd AANS Annual Scientific Meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. from May 2-6, 2015. To register for the meeting, click here. Registration for non-members opens on Aug. 20, 2014. For more information about the 2015 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, click here.
AANS Names Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, President for 2014-2015
The AANS named Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, as its 2014-2015 president during the AANS 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting. Dr. Harbaugh says his goal for the AANS is to make it an indispensable organization for the members, also stating, "As the spokes-organization for neurosurgery it is the responsibility of the AANS to lead a campaign demonstrating the value of neurosurgical specialists in today’s health-care reform environment." To read more about Dr. Harbaugh, or learn more about the other members of the 2014-2015 Executive Committee, click here.
AANS and CNS Identify Five Unnecessary Neurosurgery Tests, Procedures
As part of an initiative to encourage physician and patient conversations related to their treatment options, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) released a list of specific neurosurgical tests or procedures that are commonly ordered, but not always necessary. As part of Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, the list identifies five targeted, evidence-based recommendations that can support physicians by working with their patients to make wise choices about their care. To read the recommendations, click here.
AANS Vice President Discusses Work, Life Balance
"It’s high-tech and high-touch," is how the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) vice president Gail L. Rosseau, MD, FAANS, describes her treatment philosophy in a recent Chicago Sun Times article; in which she shares her thoughts on physician-patient relationships, her role as one of fewer than 400 female neurosurgeons in the U.S., and achieving a work-life balance. "We’re operating on patients’ brain and spines…you have to have a fairly advanced way of being able to engage people to have them trust you," Dr. Rosseau says of her approach to patient care. Dr. Rosseau says that she remains passionate about her field and about having the opportunity to work some of the latest innovations to help patients. To read more about this story, click here
Eight-year Old from England is World’s First to Beat Brain Cancer
Eight-year old Claudia Burkill, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in June of 2011, became the first person in the world to beat the illness after doctors declared her cancer free in early June 2014. Claudia was diagnosed with metastatic pineoblastoma when she was five-years old. Pineoblastomas account for less than .1 percent of all brain tumors. Shortly after she was diagnosed, Claudia began undergoing experimental treatment consisting of 44 grueling sessions of radiotherapy, a treatment in involving high-energy radiation beams that are focused onto the affected area. Fortunately, Claudia’s sessions throughout the past few years have proved to be effective. "Her latest MRI scan shows no evidence of tumor, which is excellent news," said Sophie Wilson, MD, a consultant of pediatric oncology at the University of Nottingham. To read more about this story, click here