Research News For the First Two Months of 2021

2 March 2021 2 By Roberto Pugliese

This is the seventh article of the project which aims to collect periodically (every two months) the news of research on possible treatments for glioblastoma multiforme. Below you can find the news that I considered most significant. As for the previous articles in the series, each news will be preceded by the original title with a link to the source and followed by a short comment. The criterion with which the news is chosen is always to include in general only the news related to research in the clinical phase, unless the research potential for the treatment of glioblastoma is not really considerable.
I ask you once again if possible to help the fundraising campaign Glioblastoma.it for CUSP-ND for Emanuele by sharing the link in order to spread the word and raise awareness as many people as possible. In the last few days I have also made a video that explains the rational behind it

The addition of chloroquine and bevacizumab to standard radiochemotherapy for recurrent glioblastoma multiforme
This is a small study involving a dozen patients and probably needs to be repeated but the results are impressive. Adding chloroquine and Avastin to radiotherapy for recurrent glioblastoma more than doubled survival in the control group. It seems that chloroquine helps prevent glioblastoma cells from developing chemoresistance to Avastin.

Daiichi Sankyo Submits Application for Oncolytic Virus Teserpaturev (G47?) for Treatment of Patients with Malignant Glioma in Japan 
G47 Delta virus performed very well in a phase 2 study for recurrent glioblastoma. They reported a 1-year survival rate of 92% compared with historical controls of 15%. The company then submitted a request to the Japanese drug agency that this new cancer virus be approved as a standard of care.

There Is New Hope for Those Fighting the Same Cancer That Took John McCain & Ted Kennedy; Using Polio & Immunotherapy to Fight Brain Tumors
PVSRIPO is injected into the tumor and kills the tumor cells. Keytruda increases the effectiveness of the immune system by helping it recognize these cancer cells to look for them and destroy them wherever they are. PVSRIPO (polio virus) by itself is a good treatment. For recurrent glioblastoma they reported a 3-year survival rate of 21% compared to historical controls of 4%. It is hoped that the addition of Keytruda will significantly increase its effectiveness.

The Role of Temozolomide in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Wild-Type IDH, Unmethylated MGMTp Glioblastoma During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
This study can lead to a practical change. We previously reported that Temozolomide did not help glioblastoma patients who have unmethylated MGMT and Wild Type IDK. This study confirms this and the authors strongly advise not to use Temozolomide on these patients and try something else immediately. We have always been afraid to take this step because there seemed to be a small group of survivors in the studies of patients with unmethylated MGMT who had benefited from the use of Temozolomide. This article explains that the old tests weren’t specific enough. In this study, patients were divided into 3 groups based on MGMT. In highly methylated, Temozolomide has a good chance of helping. In patients with very low ie unmethylated MGMT there is no possibility that Temozolomide will help. In the intermediate group Temozolomide may give some small results.

Very Low Mutation Burden Is a Feature of Inflamed Recurrent Glioblastomas Responsive to Cancer Immunotherapy
This study states that a very low tumor mutational burden for glioblastomas results in a better response with immunotherapies unlike what happens for other cancers.

Mitochondria in Overdrive Linked to Glioblastomas  
This important study reveals a link between elevated mitochondrial activity and glioblastoma. The subgroup of glioblastomas with high mitochondrial activity could be treatable with existing drugs on the market such as metformin. 

In addition to this news, the studies on the market of drugs for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme which is constantly growing are impressive! On the one hand, these studies tell us that there are more and more glioblastoma sufferers and on the other hand that the interest of pharmaceutical companies and therefore the amount of research dedicated to the study of therapies to combat glioblastoma in increasing at the same pace. There are always two sides to the coin. Hopefully this amount of research will lead to quality results that will soon translate into new, effective therapies.

That’s all for this two-month period. Best of luck to all those battling glioblastoma and their loved ones. I truly hope this year will be a year of significant progress in the fight against glioblastoma!