New ependymoma classification & other updates by World Health Organization
New ependymoma classification & other updates by World Health Organization
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CERN Foundation Supplement to NBTS Blog Post 'What You Need to Know About the New Updates to Brain Tumor Classification and Grades'

Image. What You Need to Know About the New Updates to Brain Tumor Classification and Grades.
National Brain Tumor Society released a blog post titled ‘What You Need to Know About the New Updates to the Brain Tumor Classification and Grades’ to address the recent 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System update published in Neuro-Oncology. Below are highlights of some of the changes, their importance to the brain and spinal cord tumor community, and considerations for newly diagnosed patients and survivors.
In preparation for these updates and to stay at the forefront of ependymoma advancements, the CERN Foundation collaborated with key stakeholders to produce a C-IMPACT NOW Educational Event with Dr. David Ellison Chair of Pathology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Dr. Mark Gilbert Chief of the Neuro-Oncology Branch at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, a presentation by Dr. Kristian Pajtler, Head Molecular Oncology and Cancer Predisposition at Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) covering the latest updates in the WHO classification was included in the 2021 Ependymoma Awareness Day video. These educational tools help to explain the updates to ependymoma classification and cast a light on the future direction of research and clinical practice.
Specifically, the latest update to the ependymoma classification includes the following updates:
  • Specific tumor location will now be included in the classification of ependymomas: Supratentorial (ST), Infratentorial / Posterior Fossa (PF), or Spine (SP)
  • A new classification has been added for of a rare but aggressive spinal tumor: SP-MYCN ependymoma
  • Updated name: Tumors previously known as ST-RELA ependymoma are now called ST-ZFTA ependymoma
  • Ependymomas that can be molecularly defined include: ST-ZFTA, ST-YAP1, PFA, PFB, and SP-MYCN tumors

Oral Drug Combination Shows Benefit for Adults with Ependymoma

Results from the first prospective clinical trial for adults with ependymoma led to a change in the treatment guidelines, offering hope to control the disease and improve symptoms. Earlier ependymoma trials had been unsuccessful due to the rarity of the cancer and associated challenges in recruiting patients. “The biggest barrier in studying rare diseases is that they are rare,” Dr. Gilbert said. The recent findings reported in Neuro-Oncology were made possible by using the Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN) Foundation and their referral program. The foundation was established in 2006 to improve the care and outcome of people with ependymoma. “The take home message is that we were able to launch and complete this clinical trial,” Dr. Gilbert said. “We were excited that it worked and now stands as a treatment patients can get as we continue to look for new treatments for ependymoma and other rare cancers. The most essential component is patient enrollment and participation. If people don’t enroll, we can't do the trial. If we don’t do the trial, we don’t make advancements.”

Informed in 30:
Neurosurgical Techniques

National Brain Tumor Society released a new Informed in 30 video featuring the latest techniques that neurosurgeons have at their disposal.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of removing as much tumor as possible during surgical resection. While many tumor types are difficult to fully remove without harming adjacent, healthy tissues, the tools, technology, and techniques continue to improve - as does the training of these specialists.
Dr. Edjah Nduom from Emory University comments “I can’t emphasize this enough, when patients are confronted with something that needs surgery, I think it is a very fair thing to ask the surgeon involved whether they actually focus on brain tumors and if that is something they do in their day to day practice.”
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Support the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education
With your generous support, we will continue to expand our efforts to improve the care and outcome of people with ependymoma. Under “Direct My Gift to Support,” remember to select the Ependymoma Research and Education Fund.
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The CERN Foundation and the National Brain Tumor Society have joined forces to help people with ependymoma and advance ependymoma research toward the development of new and better treatments through the creation of the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education. Today, the CERN Foundation is officially a designated program of the National Brain Tumor Society. Donations to the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education will be made on the NBTS website and used to support research efforts that will benefit both ependymoma patients and research through CERN. Emphasis will be placed on CERN’s historical model of supporting work that translates basic science into clinical practice. The Fund will also address overcoming barriers to clinical trial accrual and the development of new clinical studies for ependymoma patients. Additional funds will be used to support educational efforts through print, media, and awareness events. The new collaborative Ependymoma Fund will continue CERN’s practice and tradition of involving and collaborating with other scientists, medical providers, foundations and supporters of ependymoma research.
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