Brain Cancer: Fast Track to Stopping


LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Today, there are an estimated 700,000 people in the U.S. living with a brain tumor. Another 85,000 will be diagnosed this year. For those with malignant tumors, the five-year survival rate is just 36 percent. But now, new advanced technologies are giving surgeons the tools they need to not only save lives but preserve their patient’s quality of life. Brain Cancer

From fast cars…to fast bikes…

Sabrina Leamon is a risk taker! She and her boyfriend TJ Hunt are social media influencers. He builds and modifies cars; they both come up with the content to keep two million subscribers on the edge of their seats. But last year their journey took an unexpected turn.

“We share our life for a living. So, we were like, do we want to talk about this personal part?” Sabrina Leamon, Brain Cancer Survivor, told Ivanhoe. “And I said, yes, the message behind the channel is keep moving forward through whatever life throws at you.”

So, Sabrina shared her story. After suffering a grand mal seizure, she was diagnosed with a grade two diffuse glioma.

“They found a mass and I ended up having brain surgery,” Sabrina noted.

“We’re basically peeling off her entire temporal lobe,” Thomas Beaumont, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurological surgery at UC San Diego Health said.

(Read Full Interview)

Neurosurgeon Dr. Beaumont used advanced technology called neuro navigation, fiber tractography and interoperative MRI scanners. By combining all the images, he created a highly detailed map.

“When I’m doing the surgery, this is projected in three-dimensional space to my eyes through the microscope,” Dr. Beaumont explained.

Sabrina’s team was able to remove all but four percent of the tumor, increasing her survival from 22 months to 15 years. Giving science more time to figure out a cure and Sabrina more time to do what she loves.

“You can get through it, no matter how dark life is, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” Sabrina exclaimed.

Because of the amount of tumor doctors were able to remove, Sabrina did not need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. She was out of the hospital in two days and did not have any side effects. Doctors will keep a close watch on the remaining tumor cells, but they believe she will not need another surgery for more than a decade.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4932

BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. Glioblastoma forms from cells called astrocytes that support nerve cells.

Glioblastoma can occur at any age but tends to occur more often in older adults. It can cause worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures. Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, can be very difficult to treat and a cure is often not possible. Treatments may slow progression of the cancer and reduce signs and symptoms.


DIAGNOSING: Doctors use several tests to diagnose a low-grade glioma. Your doctor will ask about your medical history, including any prior illnesses that might have weakened your immune system or involved radiation therapy. Your doctor will also ask about your family history, your habits, and your lifestyle. Doctors use a neurological exam to diagnose low grade gliomas. During this exam, your doctor looks for changes to your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes. These changes can identify which part of your brain may be affected by a tumor. Imaging tests that take pictures of your brain also help diagnose low grade gliomas. Doctors use a variety of imaging technologies, each offering insights to confirm the presence, location, and type of tumor that may be present. They may also take a sample of the tumor.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and SciencesTexas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have merged various quantitative imaging measurements with computational simulations to create an accurate model for calculating the progression of high-grade glioma. Throughout this project, researchers at the Oden Institute and MD Anderson have gone back and forth on the type of data needed, model components and the overall goal or application of this model. TACC, the third partner in the collaboration to end cancer, made it possible for the researchers to simultaneously calibrate a large family of biologically based mathematical models for each patient.





If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Thomas Beaumont, MD, PhD, Neurosurgeon, Professor of Neurological surgery and Deputy Director

Read the entire Q&A