There is a season…Turn, Turn, Turn; that Pete Seeger song comes to mind for so many reasons. It comes to mind because it musters the image of Fall and the changing leaves, which brings to mind our Brain Matters Annual Fall Fundraiser. It bubbles to mind all the amazing memories of my having walked among the changing leaves almost seven years ago from NY to Mass General Hospital to raise awareness for the need for more funding for brain cancer research. It also reminds me of the Byrds singing that song in 1965 (I was young, but I remember it), and the tumultuous times when they sang it. How strangely similar those times are seeming in certain ways to the ones we’re in right now.
I keep in my thoughts to never give up, because it’s just times like this that the tide will turn. It’s when the nation feels so bitter, or on a more personal level when you may feel so sick that you will find the cure that you’ve been seeking. It was nine years ago that I was given very grim news about my outcome, but I didn’t give up, I kept researching and I found Mass General Hospital with a brighter vision and solution.
During this past year Trump moved $280 Million from Cancer Research to pay for custody of immigrant children. Really? Why? Don’t get it…at all. He moved many funds from many programs to pay for the custody of those children. All those funds so intensely needed for their assigned causes. President Trump’s decision forges a bitter impact on the potential for a cure for cancer in general, and even more of an impact on Brain Cancer research-which is at the bottom of the proverbial “totem pole”, because there are less of us affected by this complicated disease. This makes it that much more important for those of us touched personally to donate privately.
I am grateful every day for my ability to see my kids and my husband, to appreciate nature and to walk in it, to continue to try and build the business I want (wish that was easier-but I’m still glad I’m here to continue trying), to see, to read, to raise awareness and funds for skull base brain cancer. Not every day is perfect. I do deal with medical side effects, but as I like to say “I’m Still Standing”.
The following is some of the latest scientific research being done. If you’re not aware…you should be. Many are clinical trials; they could be life changing for a chosen few right now and for many more in the future.
Immunotherapy. It’s also called biological response modifier (BRM) therapy, is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Different methods are being studied for brain tumors, such as the use of dendritic cells or the use of vaccines aimed against a specific molecule on the surface of the tumor cells. Several methods are currently being tested in clinical trials.
Oncolytic virus therapy. This therapy uses a virus that infects and destroys tumor cells, sparing healthy brain cells. It is currently being researched as a treatment for brain tumors.
Targeted therapy. This type of treatment targets faulty genes or proteins that contribute to a tumor’s growth and development. Research continues on the use of therapies for brain tumors that target the different ways a tumor grows, how a tumor spreads, and how tumor cells die. This type of treatment blocks the growth and spread of tumor cells while limiting the damage to health cells.
Blood-brain barrier disruption. This technique temporarily disrupts the brain’s natural protective barrier in order to allow chemotherapy to more easily enter the brain from the bloodstream.
Gene therapy. This type of therapy seeks to replace or repair abnormal genes that are causing or helping tumor growth.
We’re really looking forward to the start of our Brain Matters Charitybuzz Fundraiser! We’ll be posting our link on Tuesday, October 23rd. There will be many amazing events. Check back for the link and to support the cause!