Glioblastoma, or GBM, is an aggressive type of tumor that occurs in the brain. Due to the location of this tumor and the limited therapeutic options, patients often have poor prognosis.
Fortunately, a new body of research suggests that a combination treatment for GBM can improve the outcome of these patients.
In this article, we will cover the new combination therapy for glioblastoma and how it could help thousands of patients.
What is the new combination treatment for Glioblastoma?
The investigated combination treatment consists of three modalities, each in itself, is approved for Glioblastoma:
The first treatment uses electric fields of intermediate frequency and low intensity to interfere with cell division. It is formally known as an alternating electric field therapy.
The second drug, Temodar which stops the uncontrolled growth of astrocytes (i.e., the cells that comprise GBM) by preventing DNA replication.
Finally, Keytruda, an antibody that is part of cancer immunotherapy. Besides Glioblastoma, Keytruda helps patients with lung cancer, melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, cervical cancer and more.
What do the results tell us?
The results of this study are part of phase II clinical trial called 2-THE-TOP. Initially, these findings were presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) earlier this year.
The purpose of this clinical trial is to compare the combination treatment that consists of TTFields, Temodar, and Keytruda versus the first two alone.
Investigators enrolled 25 patients who had a median age of 61 years. To be part of the study, there were some inclusion criteria, which included:
- Histological confirmation of grade IV Glioblastoma, GBM
- Previous maximal safe resection procedure
- A history of receiving radiotherapy with Temodar
- Known MGMT methylation status (i.e., a specific tumor marker)
After following up with the patients 9 months later, the median Progression-Free Survival (PFS, i.e.,the time until the disease progressed and the treatment stopped working) was 11.2 months. Interestingly, 24% of patients had a Complete Remission or Partial Response which is a reduction in the size of the tumor.
As for the side effects, 4 patients developed thrombosis, 3 had a seizure episode, and 2 patients developed metabolic disturbances.
William Doyle, Novocure’s Executive Chairman, stated that “We are very encouraged by the results of the 2-THE-TOP study, especially in light of the poor prognostic factors of the patient population.”
He also added that “Dr. Tran’s research is an important continuation of our exploration of synergies between TTFields and immunotherapy agents. We would like to thank Dr. Tran and the patients enrolled in the 2-THE-TOP trial for their ingenuity and courage.”
These results give us hope about the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM.
Takeaway message for Glioblastoma
The new combination treatment seems to give promising results for patients with Glioblastoma. Continuous research in this field will hopefully yield more concrete results.
We hope that this article managed to highlight the important points of the new research regarding Glioblastoma.
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