Cancer Conversations Podcast—Episode #17: The Latest in Brain Tumor Research and Treatment

0
Patrick Wen, David Reardon, brain tumors

Patrick Wen, MD (seated), and David Reardon, MD, of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology.

Brain tumors can be among the most challenging cancers to treat. The blood-brain barrier, a natural defense mechanism that shields the brain from harm, can also prevent cancer treatments from reaching tumors.

“It can be difficult to get treatments effectively into the brain,” says David Reardon, MD, clinical director of Dana-Farber’s Center for Neuro-Oncology. However, he adds that new immunotherapy treatments may be able to get through the blood-brain barrier and effectively reach tumors.

“We know the immune system can get into the brain to fight infections and inflammatory conditions,” explains Reardon. “Our current research is moving forward to a level where we’re critically confirming that these immunotherapy drugs are getting into the brain and making a difference.”

In this Cancer Conversations podcast episode, Reardon discusses immunotherapy, precision medicine, and other new approaches to brain tumor treatment with Patrick Wen, MD, director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology.

“One major area of advancement in all cancer, including brain tumors, is the understanding of the molecular changes that drive tumors,” says Wen. “We’ve been able to characterize molecular changes in both high-grade and low-grade gliomas, and because of that we can develop drugs to target the molecular drivers of these tumors.”

Listen to the podcast episode below or click “download” to listen later. Subscribe options are also available via iTunes, Google Play, the Stitcher appTuneIn app, and RSS.

The Cancer Conversations series features Q&A-style conversations with Dana-Farber physicians, clinicians, and researchers. Topics include breast cancer research, precision cancer medicine, integrative therapies, cancer genetics, and more. Visit the Cancer Conversations page for more episodes and the Dana-Farber podcast page for more cancer podcast series.

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-960-1562

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
Treatment with #immunotherapy drugs hasn’t yet been approved for small cell #lungcancer, but some early findings in… https://t.co/zT6BVl24p1
Dana-Farber @danafarber
Going through #braincancer treatment at age 24, Alex Berking is experiencing a new connection to her late father –… https://t.co/r33zdAsKo8
Dana-Farber @danafarber
What is #mastocytosis and how is it treated? https://t.co/N4crv739AG

Patient and Family Blogs

Patients and families of patients at Dana-Farber often chronicle their own experiences with cancer.

Here are some blogs that you can follow.