The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery, revealed that patients treated with simultaneous implantation of radioactive seeds and chemotherapy wafers following removal of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) experienced longer survival compared with patients who had implantation of seeds or wafers alone.
The study was the first ever to explore the combination treatment in patients suffering from recurrent GBM. The early phase trial involved 34 patients, all of whom underwent the same treatment. No patients received a placebo. The study’s purpose was to assess the safety and effectiveness of the highly localized, combination therapy.
The median survival was 69 weeks, and nearly a quarter (eight) of the study’s patients survived two years. In comparison, patients with recurrent GBM who undergo conventional treatment (chemotherapy) have a median survival of approximately 26 weeks.
“Treatment of recurrent GBM presents a major challenge to neurosurgeons and neuro-oncologists,” said investigator Ronald Warnick, MD, chairman of the Mayfield Clinic and professor of neurosurgery at UC. “Glioblastoma is an aggressive, highly malignant tumor with unclear boundaries. Because of its diffuse nature, surgeons are unable to remove it completely, and it regrows in the majority of patients. Our aim is to find a way to keep the infiltrating glioblastoma cells from growing into adjacent, healthy tissue.”
Because most GBM tumors recur within two centimeters of the initial tumor margin, Warnick and his team have focused their efforts on highly localized treatment.
Previously they studied the implantation of permanent, low-activity iodine-125 seeds following the surgical removal of the tumor. The seeds, housed in a titanium casing filled with iodine-125 (a radioisotope of iodine) are the size of grains of rice. The seeds are left in the brain cavity permanently, and radiation is delivered for six months.
Other institutions have studied implantation of chemotherapy wafers, which are the size of a nickel. The wafers contain BCNU (carmustine), a standard form of chemotherapy. The wafers are placed along the surface of the brain following removal of the tumor.
Combining radiation seeds and chemotherapy wafers was a logical next step, Warnick said. The combination of seeds and wafers “appears to provide longer survival” compared with studies of seeds and wafers alone, he said, and “disease progression also seems to be further delayed.”
Warnick cautioned that the effectiveness of the combination therapy is not definitive, because the study did not include a control group.
In the most notable downside to the dual therapy, brain tissue death developed in nearly 25 percent of patients and appeared to be higher than in treatment with seeds or wafers alone. The tissue death was treated successfully with surgery or hyperbaric oxygen therapy, however, and did not affect survival.
Future studies will involve using a combination of seeds and wafers to treat patients newly diagnosed with GBM, Warnick said.
Cindy Starr | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences