Landon Solberg, a 12-year-old boy from West Fargo, ND, doesn’t have much time left, given the stage of his rare malignant brain tumor known as anaplastic astrocytoma. He was diagnosed at 10. No chemo or effective treatment for this form of cancer exists. After participating in a couple clinical trials that didn’t help, he is now in hospice, receiving in-home care surrounded by family and friends. The chemo rounds are gone. Now it’s time to be with family until the end.
The whole community is behind Landon and his parents, who are facing a nightmare no one dreams of ever having, and the fact that the prognosis of two years is now coming due. Recently, a local boys basketball team sported yellow bracelets on their wrists that won’t come off reported the West Fargo Pioneer. These wristbands are in honor of Landon who is their new teammate. Landon is a big basketball fan and he will be on this team forever. Speaking of basketball, the North Dakota State men’s basketball team and their head coach presented Landon with a championship ring. Some of Landon’s friends made a video which has now 22,000 views since August 20. The video has received national attention, including from his favorite singer Taylor Swift—who called Landon. At the end of the day, the local news reported that Landon has been accepting of everything.
If we could provide the resources for a study that could save one child such as Landon Solberg, then we at TrialSite News have fulfilled our mission.
Anaplastic astrocytoma is a rare malignant brain tumor. Astrocytomas are tumors that develop from certain star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes. Astrocytes and similar cells form tissue that surrounds and protects other nerve cells found within the brain and spinal cord. Collectively, these cells are known as glial cells and the tissue they form is known as glial tissue. Tumors that arise from glial tissue, including astrocytomas, are collectively referred to as gliomas. The symptoms of anaplastic astrocytomas vary depending upon the specific location and size of the tumor. The specific cause of this tumor is unknown.
A variety of new therapies are under investigation as potential treatment for individuals with anaplastic astrocytoma. Such therapies include several classes of drugs including protein kinase inhibitors, biological response modifiers, and angiogenesis inhibitors. High dose chemotherapy with auto-bone marrow transplantation is also being investigated for anaplastic astrocytoma. Convection enhanced delivery is a novel experimental method to deliver high levels of chemotherapy directly into the tumor and surrounding brain tissue. Immunotherapy with tumor vaccines is in the early stages of testing.
Information on current clinical trials is posted on the Internet here. All studies receiving U.S. government funding, and some supported by private industry, are posted on this government web site.
For information about clinical trials being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, contact the NIH Patient Recruitment Office.
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