Two papers published in tandem in the New England Journal of Medicine
A large international study conducted by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Canada(NCIC) Clinical Trials Group demonstrated that the addition of a novel chemotherapy agent, Temozolomide (brand name: Temodal®) to radiation therapy increases survival in patients suffering from glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of a brain tumour. Further, molecular analyses of the tumour allowed for the identification of those patients most likely to benefit from this type of treatment. The findings are leading to a new standard of care for patients with this fast growing and devastating cancer. The results of this landmark trial are published in two companion papers in this weeks edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (publication date: 10 March 2005).
Primary tumours originating in the brain account for less than 5% of all cancer diagnoses. However, brain cancer frequently affects previously healthy younger men and women in the middle of their most active life. Glioblastoma is the most common type of primary malignant brain tumour in adults with a yearly incidence of 5-7 persons per 100.000. Thus in the European Union approx. 20000 new patients are diagnosed every year. Glioblastoma is a rapidly growing malignant brain tumour and usually has a fatal outcome.
Mathilde Fenoulhet | EurekAlert!
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