First Non-Invasive Imaging to Detect Brain Tumors

Diagnostic Brain Tumor Test Could Revolutionize Care of Patients with Low-Grade Gliomas

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed what they believe to be the first clinical application of a new imaging technique to diagnose brain tumors. The unique test could preclude the need for surgery in patients whose tumors are located in areas of the brain too dangerous to biopsy.

This new magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technique provides a definitive diagnosis of cancer based on imaging of a protein associated with a mutated gene found in 80 percent of low- and intermediate-grade gliomas. Presence of the mutation also means a better prognosis.

“To our knowledge, this is the only direct metabolic consequence of a genetic mutation in a cancer cell that can be identified through noninvasive imaging,” said Dr. Elizabeth Maher, associate professor of internal medicine and neurology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, available online in Nature Medicine. “This is a major breakthrough for brain tumor patients.”

UT Southwestern researchers developed the test by modifying the settings of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to track the protein’s levels. The data acquisition and analysis procedure was developed by study lead author Dr. Changho Choi, associate professor of the Advanced Imaging Research Center (AIRC) and radiology. Previous research linked high levels of this protein to the mutation, and UT Southwestern researchers already had been working on MRS of gliomas to find tumor biomarkers.

“Our next step is to make this testing procedure widely available as part of routine MRIs for brain tumors. It doesn’t require any injections or special equipment,” said Dr. Maher, medical director of UT Southwestern’s neuro-oncology program.

To substantiate the test as a diagnostic tool, biopsy samples from 30 glioma patients enrolled in the UT Southwestern clinical trial were analyzed; half had the mutation and expected high levels of the protein. MRS imaging of these patients had been done before surgery and predicted, with 100 percent accuracy, which patients had the mutation.

For Thomas Smith of Grand Prairie, the test helped determine the best time to begin chemotherapy. When an MRS scan showed a sharp rise in the 25-year-old’s protein levels, this indicated to his health care team that his tumor was moving from dormancy to rapid growth.

“We treated him with chemotherapy and his protein levels came down,” Dr. Maher said.

Before participating in the study, Mr. Smith had tumor removal surgery in 2007. Because part of the tumor could not be safely removed, however, he continued to suffer seizures and had other neurological problems. Since chemotherapy, his symptoms have diminished.

“I did six rounds of chemo, every six weeks,” Mr. Smith said. “My seizures stopped and all my symptoms improved. I am only on anti-seizure medication now.”

Notes about this brain cancer research article

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study included Sandeep Ganji, a doctorate student in radiological sciences; Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, assistant professor of pediatrics and with the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development; Dr. Kimmo Hatanpaa, associate professor of pathology; Dr. Dinesh Rakheja, assistant professor of pathology; Dr. Zoltan Kovacs, assistant professor in the AIRC; Drs. Xiao-Li Yang and Tomoyuki Mashimo, both senior research scientists in internal medicine; Dr. Jack Raisanen, professor of pathology; Dr. Isaac Marin-Valencia, resident in pediatrics; Dr. Juan Pascual, assistant professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics, pediatrics, and physiology; Dr. Christopher Madden, associate professor of neurological surgery; Dr. Bruce Mickey, professor of neurological surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, and radiation oncology; Dr. Craig Malloy, professor in the AIRC and of internal medicine and radiology; and Dr. Robert Bachoo, assistant professor in neurology and neurotherapeutics, and internal medicine.

Funding: The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and financial support from the Annette G. Strauss Center for Neuro-oncology at UT Southwestern.

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Contact: Debbie Bolles – The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Source: The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center press release
Original Research: Abstract for “2-hydroxyglutarate detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in IDH-mutated patients with gliomas” by Changho Choi, Sandeep K Ganji, Ralph J DeBerardinis, Kimmo J Hatanpaa, Dinesh Rakheja, Zoltan Kovacs, Xiao-Li Yang, Tomoyuki Mashimo, Jack M Raisanen, Isaac Marin-Valencia, Juan M Pascual, Christopher J Madden, Bruce E Mickey, Craig M Malloy, Robert M Bachoo and Elizabeth A Maher from Nature Medicine

 Also See Link Below: Novel Drug Makes Brain Tumors Glow Hot Pink

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Train Your Brain to Become Your Inner Neuro-Coach: Replace Unproductive Habits with Irrepressible Motivation by John Assaraf

By applying brain science to coaching and achieving your goals, you can create powerful, effective, and transformational exercises to solve your personal and business problems in a fraction of the time.  Instead of spending 10, 20, or 50 hours with a coach who uses traditional strategies, you can use brain science to solve the same problem in 10, 20, or 50 minutes.

I’m going to guide you through an imagination exercise – what Einstein called a “mind experiment” – that has helped thousands of people achieve excellence by tapping into the inner wisdom of your brain.  And, if you share the experience you are about to have with others in our community, you’ll add great value for everyone who is reading this column. Together, we can create the first neuro-coaching MasterMind experience.  Make sure you have a pen and a sheet of paper in front of you.

So let’s begin. Imagine that you have been invited to meet with the most extraordinary and famous coaches, therapists, and consultants in history.  You walk into a beautiful, elegant room, and there, sitting on the couch, is Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung!  Leaning back in a pair of armchairs are Warren Buffet and John Assaraf.  Milling around the room is the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erikson. He’s talking to John Gottman (the psychology guru of couples therapy), Aaron Beck (the father of cognitive therapy), and Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology. Over in the corner are the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Socrates, who are delighted that you have come to join in this circle of mastermind coaches and leaders.

They beckon you to an empty chair, and as you sit down, everybody turns toward you with a warm smile on their face. You literally feel their love flowing out for you as you prepare to have the most incredible coaching session in the world.

But there’s a catch:  you only have 30 seconds to ask these geniuses a single question.  You freeze and think to yourself:  “My god!  What should I say?” Fearing that you may blow this amazing opportunity, your mind starts racing a million miles per second. You are about to fry your brain.

Freud steps in to help:  “Lie back in ze chair and relax.”   So do so, right now: lean back and stretch your arms, hands, and legs.  Don’t just do this in your imagination; just take a moment to shake out all of the tensions in your body.

The Dalai Lama chimes in:  “Take a deep breath and let all of your current thoughts and feelings float by, without judging them.”  Do so, right now.

Mark Waldman, who had fallen asleep behind the couch, suddenly wakes up and shouts:  “And don’t forget to yawn!”  So take 10 seconds right now, and yawn.  Feel all of your tensions melting away as your mind becomes crystal clear and calm, and now ask yourself this question:  “What problem do I have that I would like this roomful of brilliant advisors and coaches to respond to?”

On your sheet of paper, write down the first three questions that come to mind.  Circle the most important one and say it out loud to yourself.  Notice how it sounds. Then ask yourself, “Is this really the most important question and problem I want to address?” If not, write down a question, the answer to which could change your life for the better. Again, say the question aloud.

Imagine that one of the gurus in the room speaks a single sentence, filled with wisdom and solid advice. Write down what your imagination hears. It doesn’t matter if the answer is silly, but if nothing comes to mind, just keep asking this question to yourself. In 5 minutes, or maybe an hour from now, you’ll hear a whisper coming from your unconscious brain, from a place where our inner wisdom is born and stored. You are engaging in an exercise that has been confirmed by the latest neuroscientific research on creativity, imagination, and problem solving.

Look at the advice that you “heard” (and you really want to have some fun, ask each person in this imaginary room to give you a piece of wisdom. Make sure you write it all down. The advice you hear may the best advice in the world. It’s generated by one of the newest parts of your brain – the anterior cingulate – and you can “innercise” it through mindfulness, concentration, self-hypnosis, affirmations, and meditation. It will suppress disruptive feelings and thoughts that hold you back from achieving inner and outer greatness.

This imaginary exercise actually changes your brain by replacing unproductive habits with irrepressible motivation. It’s a neurological “call to action” that brings you closer to achieving your dreams and goals. Indeed, you are literally training your own brain to become your inner neuro-coach.

 To Learn More

1) Opt into our free “Winning the Game of Money” video series to learn more about making more money using the latest brain research. You will also have a chance to win $5000 in personal coaching with John Assaraf!

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