Research News for the Sixth Two Months of 2021

This is the twelfth article of the project which aims to collect periodically (every two months) the news of research on possible treatments for glioblastoma multiforme and is also one of the last articles of the year.
Below is the news that we 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 really significant.

Un nouveau traitement contre les tumeurs cérébrales disponible en France 
The French Medicines Agency and the Gustave Roussy Institute announced on Tuesday 2 November that a new treatment for brain tumours is available in France for patients with high-grade glioma and in the event of failure of first-line therapies. This treatment, called “ONC201”, will be intended for patients whose glioma has the mutation (H3K27M). These patients have a particularly poor prognosis but it seems that the molecule used is able to drastically reduce the tumor in about 30% of patients.

Japan offers new treatment option for brain cancer 
Delytact is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus, which is an oncolytic virus that has shown exceptional results for recurrent glioblastoma. The treatment is currently only available in Japan and in hospitals that participated in the phase II trial. The really interesting thing is that Japan, considering the serious pathology, has decided to give access to therapy with only phase II results even if for a fixed period, that is, a timed verification of the results obtained is foreseen.

2-THE-TOP Phase 2 Trial Reports Positive Top-Line Results in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
Excellent results obtained in a new study that combined the Optune device with Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The study reported a median progression-free of 11.2 months compared to Optune alone with a median progression-free survival of 6.7 months and to Pembrolizumab alone with a progression-free survival of only 2.8 months. This shows that Optune has an immunogenic effect, which Pembrolizumab amplifies. Combination therapies often have greater effects than single therapies. Who knows what could happen if a new generation vaccine or a cancerous virus like the one described in the previous paragraph were added too!

Reproducibility of clinical trials using CMV-targeted dendritic cell vaccines in patients with glioblastoma
These are data from three glioblastoma vaccine studies and all show the same efficacy: 5-year survival rate of approximately 33-36%. Historically, the 5-year survival of glioblastoma is approximately 4%. This represents a big improvement. The ultimate cure will most likely be a combination of treatments. If we could achieve 35% 5-year survival with this vaccine, combining it with the Optune device, which alone, when used for more than 90% of the time, can offer 5-year survival to another 30% maybe these treatments combined they can offer a 5-year survival of over 60%. We must accelerate the possibility of carrying out these trials.

First experience with maximal safe resection and Gammatile brachytherapy as treatment for recurrent glioblastoma
Impressive results for the clinical trial with the Gammatile for recurrent glioblastoma. This treatment consists in inserting platelets that emit radiation into the tumour site. The treatment is approved by the FDA. Even if the resection is not complete, the Gammatile greatly prolongs survival. The article is also interesting because it distinguishes the outcomes for glioblastoma MGMTm and MGMTu, i.e. methylated and unmethylated. The median of survival is over 1000 days for MGMTm glioblastoma and over 700 days for MGMTu. In practice, survival it more than doubled in both cases.

Plus Therapeutics Announces Positive Interim Data from ReSPECT-GBM Phase 1 Clinical Trial at the 2021 Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Meeting
This is a new way of carrying out radiotherapy treatment using nanoliposomes and Rhenium-186. This phase 1 study achieved impressive results despite being designed to discover an effective safe dose. Patients who received the highest dose experienced no toxicity and 7 of the 13 patients with recurrent glioblastoma are still alive after an average of 453 days. This compares very favorably with historical findings which tell us that the median survival after recurrence is 6 months (183 days).

VBI Vaccines Reveals Updated Overall Survival Data From Brain Cancer Vaccine Trial
This article reports the results of a small study of an experimental vaccine therapy for recurrent glioblastoma: seven out of 10 (70%) of patients were alive at 12 months, compared to historical controls of 30%. This is a major improvement. The company will soon begin a randomized study.

Targeted Drug Combo Shows Unprecedented Activity in Some Aggressive Brain Tumors
This study is significant because it is the first time that a clinical trial has reported success for glioblastomas using targeted therapies. In fact, this study only applies to patients with a rare mutation known as v600E in the BRAF gene. The two drugs are approved for other diseases, so they can be used off-label right away. These are dabrafenib and trametinib. Check your pathology report and if your glioblastoma has these mutations, talk to the medical staff.

That’s it for this two-month period. I ask you to continue helping the fundraising campaign for CUSP9v3 Phase II-III for Emanuele by sharing the link in order to spread the word and raise awareness as many people as possible. Now, after the publication of the remarkable results of the CUSPv3 Phase I trial, we are closer to the goal. The videoconference of few days ago in which Prof. Marc-Eric Halatsch presented the results and perspectives of the clinical CUSP9v3 trial has already been seen by 300 people! On the Contributions page of the site you can find other ways to donate. Contribute you too to fund this clinical trial!

Best of luck from the heart and Happy Holidays to all those who are fighting glioblastoma, their caregivers and loved ones!