Glioblastoma: Epilepsy drug plus standard treatment

Background about Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma, GBM, is an aggressive and the most frequent malignant brain tumor primary brain tumor with poor prognosis.

At diagnosis, the standard treatment is largely confined to surgery, radiation and Temodar with median time until disease progression/recurrence under this standard protocol is 7 months.

GBM tumors recur in most cases and in patients with recurrent GBM, the median survival is 6.2 months.

The total median survival is 14-15 months. This poses an urgent need for novel treatment options for patients.

Keppra is a well established medication used to treat epilepsy.

About KBTS-1601 study

These results will be presented during weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO, annual meeting, May 29 – June 2, 2020.

KBTS-1601, a multicenter phase II study, was designed to test whether Keppra in conjunction with Temodar improves survival for patients with newly diagnosed Glioblastoma, GBM.

All patients received radiotherapy with concurrent Temodar followed by adjuvant Temodar, the standard protocol. The first dose of Keppra was added to the protocol just after the surgery.

Study data were compared to data from another study were patients did not receive Keppra, but received radiotherapy and Temodar as in this study. This way the researchers had a controlled group to compare to their results.

In the control group, median survival was 17.5 months and a median time until the disease had progressed/recurred under radiotherapy plus Temodar, was 10.1 months.


46 patients were enrolled to the study. All patients completed standard radiation therapy with Temodar and 39 patients completed 6 cycles of adjuvant Temodar.

  • Median survival was almost doubled and reached 30 months
  • Median time until the disease had progressed/recurred was prolonged to 15 months
  • Percentage of patients alive at 6, 12, and 24 months was 100%, 91.3%, and 60.7%, respectively
  • Percentage of patients without disease had progressed/recurred at 6, 12, and 24 months was 93.2%, 65.3%, and 22.6%, respectively.

What is the conclusion for Glioblastoma patients?

Addition of Keppra during concurrent and adjuvant Temodar along with radiotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed Glioblastoma, GBM, may result in improved outcomes compared to standard therapy alone.

The best treatment for a cancer patient is to get the most advanced cancer drugs in advanced stages of development. There, the hope and the chance to extend life go far beyond the standard protocols.

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For further reading>>

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Glioblastoma - Adding Keppra might improve treatment outcomes
Glioblastoma – Adding Keppra might improve treatment outcomes

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