Brain Cancer Project

The Grace Gawler Institute for Cancer Survivorship & Research: 

Brain Cancer without Borders Project was conceived by Grace Gawler.
Our project seeks to deliver a much needed service for people impacted by brain cancer.

The service aims to…

*Transform the experience of people with brain cancer as they attempt to navigate the complex cancer maze…
*Navigate and support patients to access national & international networks of expert doctors and researchers. 
*Educate patients about minimally invasive and targeted innovative treatments.
*Introduce patients to the importance of genomic testing to assist with targeting specific treatments.

Explore New Diagnostic & Treatment Possibilities

2020 – Why GBM Diagnostics & Treatments have needed an Urgent Makeover
GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme) arises from cells called astrocytes; named because of their star shape. They make up the supportive tissue of the brain. These tumours usually grow extremely fast, and can easily invade surrounding normal brain tissue, making it a particularly aggressive form of cancer where treatment success is still limited.

Current treatment Options: Treatment for glioblastoma usually involves surgical removal of the bulk of the tumour, followed by radiation and chemotherapy with a drug called temozolomide. Even with this treatment, however, the prognosis for glioblastoma patients is less than desirable.

Why are GBM’s difficult to treat?
1. Unlike tumours in other parts of the body where a clear margin of normal tissue surrounding the tumour can often be taken to maximise the chances of complete tumour removal, this is generally not feasible for the brain where a balance has to be made between tumour removal and risks to cognitive function, or indeed immediate patient survival.
This means that some tumour is inevitably left and can reform in the initial tumour site or in other areas of the brain.

2. There is a unique barrier, termed the “blood-brain barrier” that limits the passage of molecules, like many chemo drugs, from the bloodstream into the brain.
Many drugs that may block glioblastoma growth in the lab simply do not work effectively in patients because of this barrier.

The chemotherapy drug temozolomide does cross the blood-brain barrier. However glioblastoma cells are often resistant to temozolomide. Many glioblastomas produce a protein (called MGMT) which can limit the effects of temozolomide. The presence of MGMT can be a good indication of whether a patient will respond to chemo drugs

3. The physical location of glioblastoma within the confined space of the skull, and surrounded by vital normal brain tissue, however, means that even small increases in tumour size can have serious effects on cognitive function.

Hope may be closer than you think! The good news!

*Genomic diagnostics performed on tissue removed during surgery or from a biopsy can reveal GBM’s hidden molecular secrets and targeted treatment options. Click to see how Genomic Tests can help you.

*New approaches using pharmaceuticals that are already FDA approved but registered for another use (off-label) are becoming more popular and piquing the interest of researchers and some clinicians for a tumour that is so difficult to treat within the standard of care model.


 
 A GBM story to inspire…

The following video documentary, a patient advocacy film describes how Ben Williams, a professor of psychology ‘cured’ his GBM with a cocktail of everyday pills and survived for 20 years and remains disease-free. He has influenced the way some researchers are viewing treatments for GBM.

Ben Williams’ aggressive brain tumour was treated with conventional therapies – and with a mix of common drugs, including those for acne, insomnia and high blood pressure, as revealed in a new documentary. Could this approach work for others?

The video is a must watch for all GBM patients, family and friends.

This documentary presents compelling evidence, from doctors, regulators, and other patients, that raise concern over the validity and ethical grounding of oncology research, and the resulting limitations to clinical practice. Is it possible that as a society we could make dramatic progress against cancer if we reconsidered our strategy, as opposed to blindly following a system that has failed to deliver meaningful results in most deadly cancers for over four decades? With such a delicate and complex subject, we have tried to maintain objectivity whilst asking questions which are long over due in the public domain.

This film has been funded privately, following the death of a young family member to glioblastoma multiforme. We have decided to make the film available for free so that all cancer patients, whatever their economic background, can access what we feel is critical information for everyone to know upon diagnosis.

Making the 'Impossible' become Possible

The Grace Gawler Institute focuses on patient well-being, life quality and life extension throughout treatment. As well, we support the whole patient which includes their psychological and emotional well-being. Our unique and comprehensive service means we consistently find viable treatment options for patients told by their hospitalsthere is nothing more we can do.’ Ideally  all brain tumours would be treated at a dedicated centre. Such a centre exists in Houston Texas USA and serves as a model for other countries.

 The Kenneth R. Peak Brain & Pituitary Tumor Treatment Center is a part of Houston Methodist hospital and is providing exceptional treatment and research for patients diagnosed with GBM and other types of brain tumours. Some of the following videos are copied from their excellent website – their work is truly inspiring!

Surgery for Brain Tumours including GBM: A typical inspiring collegiate relationship occurs with Dr David Baskin, a leading USA based and surgeon who practices minimally invasive neurosurgery as well as innovative methods for treating brain tumours. A must watch!

Injecting hope into the Brain Cancer fight

Brain surgeon David Baskin with Matt Futer

Before he was wheeled into brain surgery, Matt Futer tearfully thanked his parents for a great life. Futer, 44, wasn’t likely to die on the operating table, but his fear was understandable. Ten days earlier, he had been diagnosed with a tumor, the type so nasty it kills in an average of 15 months.

Matt Futer’s cancer was a 5-inch mass, with slender tentacles extending another 4 inches, the tumour surrounding and infiltrating areas involved in speech and language. Dr David Baskin surgically removed about a third of the cancer during a three hour surgery. Then he tried something radical. He injected a virus into the tumour. It worked. Futer had been successfully treated with viral immunotherapy at Houston Methodist Hospital. This was almost 15 years ago. His original prognosis – a 20 percent chance of living longer than a year. READ MORE

Harnessing viruses to treat cancer is not new

GBMs make up about 30% of all brain and central nervous system tumours and 80% of all malignant brain tumours.

No matter what type of brain tumour you have – please make an inquiry via my contact page. I suspect you will be given hope to learn there may be viable treatment options for you.

Mobile Phones and GBMs:

GBMs come in many shapes, type, and sizes. Causes are varied.

A recent study once again cited mobile phones as part of the increase in diagnosis of these types of tumours. 
Click Here for Study – Medscape Medical PDF

Complementary and alternative medicine, including botanical medicines – GBM patients

In our story about Prof Ben Williams, you will learn of the cocktail of treatments that he used to treat his GBM. However – please be aware that he also had a lot of professional assistance along the way. He was monitored and able to do self-monitoring based on scientific knowledge.

Combination and single compounds of herbal origin including for example those provided in some high protein or green powders mixed with botanical may

interact with conventional drugs at the level of transport proteins through the blood brain barrier. Some may also be dangerous if high in amino acids. There are a few scientific papers suggesting that these types of supplements can cause cancer progression if a tumour has recruited certain proteins as fuel for growth.

The blood brain  barrier is complex and I caution all patients with GBM or other brain tumours to seek professional assistance if considering taking complementary medicines. Skill is required to understand complex interactions with conventional medications for brain tumour treatment and complementary medicines.

All patients with GBM are advised to request a pharmacogenomic test (also called PGX)  https://www.gracegawlerinstitute.com/pharmacogenomics/

These test results help to determine how you metabolise pharmaceuticals and how you are likely to metabolise botanicals and other therapeutic complementary medicines.

I do not recommend self-prescription of one size fits all supplements and I do not recommend using alternative medicine exclusively to treat brain tumours.

Innovative approaches for GBM patients have been proven to work

How I can help you:
I do not subscribe to a one size fits all Dr Google approach when it comes to serious illness such as brain cancer. My personalised advice for you and guidance/support is based on a thorough recording of your medical and previous history, occupational history, environment and family history. And these are just a few pieces of the brain tumour puzzle that I assess.

As a practitioner – I help you to assemble these “puzzle pieces” then direct you to the best treatment options, best doctors and centres of excellence – those with proven track records for treating your particular tumour type.
As with all cancers – early diagnosis is ideal – however some patients with advanced tumours have done very well. I can connect you to exceptional doctors who are using the latest treatments – e.g. utilising viruses as carriers to destroy brain tumours, as well as novel set of gene transfer products which deliver therapeutic genes to cancer cells. Click here for Patient Services

Other treatments include – skilful surgery, cyberknife, TOMO-therapy, Proton Beam Therapy, Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)  and precision imaging techniques. As well I can support the treatments with a range of science backed nutritionals & botanicals.   

Cancer Navigation for GBM Patients

Every ship needs a navigator to guide them through treacherous waters. Your Survivor-Ship is no different. Your cancer diagnosis requires you to sail in uncharted waters. You can trust a cancer navigator with 45 years’ experience who has chartered the way forward for thousands of patients before you.

The Grace Gawler Institute offers various levels of GBM navigation services.
We suggest beginning with a video call to ascertain your needs and how we can best help you.