It not that Israel hasn't come up before in the brain tumor community. It definitely has. There has been interest in the Newcastle Disease oncolytic virus and the Novocure device on internet groups to which I belong. However, both have had issues that made it problematic in the DIPG community. In the former lack of a tissue diagnosis could be a hurdle and the latter has significant issues with pad placement for electrical fields have made the device not possible- at least not yet. It is just that Israel isn't one of the places that is often mentioned in DIPG work.
It would certainly seem that this pending trial was based on the MD Anderson work published last year (abstract link below). In that pilot project 4 of 6 children had significant clinical improvement after receiving re-irradiation at symptom progression. Three of these children were able to walk again after re-irradiation. The mean progression free survival was 5 months. Those children with the longest time interval between radiation courses had the greatest benefit.
This trial is interesting it is allowing for a short interval for radiation at a minimum of 4 months. Since at one time it was thought that re-irradiation wasn't even possible is is a huge shift in thinking.
Another interesting thing is the increased specifics on the inclusion criteria-
-diagnosis of DIPG based on short classic history,
-clinical signs (long tract signs, cranial nerve deficits and ataxia), and
-classic MRI features (more than 2/3 of the tumor is located within the pons and tumor encompasses more than 60% of the pons).
I think we are going to increasingly see this type of specific DIPG definition be articulated in trial inclusion criteria. It is important to be able to better interpret results.
The increasing international inertia to fight DIPG is palpable. It is good to see another country join in the fight to try to do something to help these children.
Israel- Hadassah Medical Organization
Palliative Re-irradiation for Progressive Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in Children
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) Reirradiation (ReRT)
Palliative reirradiation for progressive diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Am J Clin Oncol. 2012 Feb;35(1):51-7.