Funding boost for cancer treatment may also help some people with NF

NF News / 06 Aug 2018

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently announced a $5 million boost for a national trial offering personalised treatment to children with high risk brain cancers. The trial uses precise genetic testing of the cancers in young children to tailor treatment and give them the best chance of survival and hopefully a cure.  

One of the cancers being targeted with the trial is known as a childhood brain stem glioma. Childhood brain stem glioma is a disease in which benign (noncancer) or malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the brain stem (the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord). 

Some children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) have signs of a brain stem glioma when they have their brain imaged using an MRI. For most, however, there is little or no progression and the glioma remains benign.  

In rare cases where a brain stem glioma in an NF1 person does become malignant or interferes with normal brainstem activity, having treatments such as those which are now being trialed with this funding, could potentially open up new avenues of management.  

I will keep an eye on the reporting of findings from the trial and let the community know. In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  

Mona Saleh (CTF Support Services Manager) 
Mona.saleh@ctf.org.au 
02 9713 6111 

If you would like to read more about the finding announcement, see:  http://www.zerochildhoodcancer.org.au/news/33/nine-news- 

To read more about Childhood brain stem glioma, see: https://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/patient/child-glioma-treatment-pdq