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March 2, 2023

"Navigating Brain Tumor Recurrence" - An Ivy Brain Tumor Center Story

Photo of Randy Codova, recurrent brain tumor patient
Randy Cordova

"When Randy Cordova was first diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor, the news, he says, was earth-shaking. He and his wife Maura cried, prayed and committed to beating it. He quickly had surgery to remove the tumor and began radiation and chemotherapy. Six months passed and Randy and Maura felt relieved. They thought they had overcome this disease and could move on with their lives. That was until a severe headache sent Randy back to the hospital and they received the devastating news that his brain tumor had come back."

“Why can’t we expect the best? We’re worthy of good things. Let’s just expect the best. I’m tired of worrying,” she says. “If something bad happens, we let ourselves be sad for about 20 minutes, then we try to remember the good, and we’re going to keep fighting it.”

~ Maura Cordova, Randy's Wife

What is a brain tumor recurrence?

A recurrence is when a previously treated brain tumor begins to regrow or has come back. Even when the tumor has been resected and treatment is finished, it has a chance of returning. Tumors usually recur in the same spot as the original tumor, but it is possible for it to arise in another location of the brain or as a more aggressive grade of tumor.

“The battle is never over in patients with high-grade gliomas,” says Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and director of Neurosurgical Oncology at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Certain types of brain tumors infiltrate normal brain tissue, often in hard-to-reach or delicate areas of the brain, making them difficult to remove. Tumor cells can be resistant to treatment and will continue to grow or regrow.

Read More About Randy's Story Here

Sonodynamic therapy clinical trial for brain tumor recurrence

Read about this NEW Clinical Trial and review the eligibility guidelines!

"The Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute is conducting a Phase 1/2 study of sonodynamic therapy (SDT) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM).

The primary objectives of this nonsurgical study are to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of SDT using SONALA-001 (ALA) and Exablate Type-2 device in patients with recurrent or progressive GBM.

Oral ALA is a drug currently used in patients with certain types of tumors to assist in tumor visualization and increase the amount of tumor resected during surgery. In this study, we will investigate the drug's ability to make the tumor tissue more sensitive to ultrasound, ultimately slowing tumor growth."

You may be eligible if…

  • You are 18 years or older.
  • You have a histologically diagnosed primary glioblastoma that has recurred or progressed, and resection is not indicated.
  • You received previous first-line treatment with standard-of-care radiotherapy and temozolomide. Temozolomide is only required if the tumor has at least partial methylation of the MGMT promoter.

The EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund is dedicated to ensuring that all patients diagnosed with brain cancer, a brain tumor, or metastatic disease to the brain have equal access to advanced diagnostics, FDA-approved treatments, specialists and clinical trials. We believe that IMMEDIATE ACCESS to these options provides the patient community with the best HOPE for survival and sustained quality of life.


Enhancing patient outcomes by expanding FDA-approved treatment modalities and fueling research in the pharma/bio/life sciences, device & diagnostic industries and by closing the existing GAP from initial diagnosis to IMMEDIATE AND EXPANDED ACCESS to specialists, researchers, advanced & innovative treatments, clinical trials and critical care with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes through updating and improving WHO & NCCN Guidelines and clinical practices related to Standard of Care for brain cancer patients.

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