News on Glioblastoma Research in the second Bimester 2020

This is the second article of the project which aims to periodically (every two months) collect the research news on possible treatments for multiform glioblastoma. Here are the news that I found most significant. As for the last two months, each news item will be preceded by the original title with links to the source and followed by a short comment. The criterion with which the news is chosen is for now that of generally including only the news relating to clinical research. As you will see, several examples of therapies are mentioned that combine different drugs together to improve their efficacy against glioblastoma.

Intraoperative MRI versus 5-ALA in high-grade glioma resection: a network meta-analysis
This article compares the use of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging with the use of Gleolan (5-ALA). As we know, it is extremely important to maximize the extent of resection to improve overall survival and progression-free survival. Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging is useful because when using navigation systems, after removing most of the tumor, the brain mass shifts slightly and the pre-operative scan is no longer accurate. By making a resonance during the operation you can see large areas of remaining tumor and improve the quality of the resection. Gleolan is a dye that, if taken orally before surgery, during surgery, under a special light makes the residual tumor visible and the surgeon can see what needs to be removed. The study finds that both methods significantly improve survival and all other endpoints. It is not clear which is the best, but while most hospitals do not have intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging each hospital can use Gleolan which only needs one component to be applied to the operating microscope.

First-line Bevacizumab Contributes to Survival Improvement in Glioblastoma Patients Complementary to Temozolomide
Previous studies in glioblastoma had registered an improvement in progression-free survival with Bevacizumab (Avastin) but no improvement in overall survival. This study states that there is an improvement by adding Avastin to Temodal and the benefit persists even if the state of MGMT mediation is not methylated. This opens up another possibility for patients with unmethylated MGMT.

Tamoxifen Is a Candidate First-In-Class Inhibitor of Acid Ceramidase That Reduces Amitotic Division in Polyploid Giant Cancer cells-Unrecognized Players in Tumorigenesis
Tamoxifen is an old approved breast cancer drug. It had been tried for glioblastoma before Temozolomide was available. The results were promising, but the results for Temozolomide were better, so Tamoxifen was no longer used. This article recognizes the role of this drug as part of a possible cocktail for treatment. In fact, if the tumor cells grow larger, the Optune device loses effectiveness. Tamoxifen can prevent the formation of giant cells and therefore, used in combination with the Optune device, it increases its effectiveness.

12 centers for brain tumor research collaborate
It is good news. Often discussing with researchers we ended up reasoning about how fragmented the research is and how modest the results are when each center, each hospital travels on its own, does its little research that perhaps produces a publication but does not substantially change expectations of patients’ life.

Germania approve the Optune device
Finally also Germany like Austria and other European countries after the US approve the Optune device which will be available through the national health service. This device is known to work, the problem is the cost. When will it finally be available in Italy?

NW Bio To Discuss Projected Schedule For Data Lock, Unblinding and Top Line Data From Its Phase 3 Clinical Trial At Annual Shareholder Meeting
The company will publish the results of the DCVAX clinical trial in June / July. DCVAX is a vaccine that uses a patient’s tumor tissue. The tumor sample must be fresh or specially stored. If you are going to have surgery, it may be a good idea to freeze the tumor sample so that if DCVAX proves to be effective it would be possible to get the vaccine.

Immunotherapies combine for triple threat against deadly brain cancer
The treatment of glioblastoma could come as for HIV from a combination of treatments that work in synergy. Due to the characteristics of glioblastoma multiforme, it is difficult to find a single treatment capable of defeating this brain tumor. The anti-cd47 monoclonal antibody was used in combination with Temodal and the anti-PD-1 antibody. The combination has proven extremely effective on mice. They are now ready to begin the clinical trial.

Anticancer gene therapy regimen confers survival benefit in recurrent glioblastoma
These phase-1 and phase-2 studies demonstrate the efficacy of therapy with the drug VB-111 in combination with Avastin.

CAR T Cell Adds Scorpion Venom to Tackle Tumor Heterogeneity
A newly developed CAR-T cell incorporating a peptide isolated from scorpion venom that has ample ability to bind to solid brain tumors such as glioblastoma will be tested in an upcoming Phase 1 clinical trial.

Medical Breakthroughs: Fighting glioblastoma
SurVaxM, also known as the SVN53-67 / M57-KLH peptide vaccine, an immunotherapy, demonstrated safety and tolerability in a Phase I study in people with malignant gliomas. The experimental drug, designed to stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells that contain survivin, a protein that helps cancer cells resist conventional treatments, has also been evaluated in a phase II clinical trial of adults with newly diagnosed with glioblastoma. The results of this study showed an increase in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Kazia’s Paxalisib Shows Positive Overall Survival Signal in Phase II Glioblastoma Study
The Australian company has announced positive results for the phase 2 clinical trial for the drug paxalisib.

Novel Immunotherapy Induces Promising 15-Month Overall Survival in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
A vaccine consisting of autologous antigen-loaded dendritic cells (AV-GBM-1) has shown promising survival results in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, according to updated year-end data for a phase II clinical trial currently underway.

And that’s all for the second two months of 2020! Good luck to all patients with glioblastoma multiforme who, in this period of coronavirus pandemic, face even greater difficulties than those already heavy they are used to.