Dr. Reardon on the Need for a New Standard of Care in GBM

David A. Reardon, MD

David A. Reardon, MD, clinical director at the Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the need for a new standard of care in the treatment landscape of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
The current standard of care for GBM was defined more than 10 years ago in 2005. The study that led to that standard was quite important at the time, says Reardon, as it demonstrated support for the addition of temozolomide (Temodar) to radiation therapy. This was considered to be an improvement over what had historically been the prior standard of care, which was just radiation therapy alone. The addition of temozolomide provided a generally modest improvement in survival for these patients.
Thus, the standard of care came to include temozolomide plus radiation therapy for 6 weeks, followed by monthly cycles of adjuvant therapy after radiation was completed for 6 to 12 months.
Unfortuantely, says Reardon, the average patient receiving this standard of care treatment progresses approximately 7 or 8 months after the initial diagnosis—a time at which the patient has not even completed his planned course of therapy. Moreover, Reardon says the median survival with this treatment strategy is also inadequate.
These shortcomings provide a strong argument for the need to reevaluate this standard of care. Oncologists continue to investigate novel therapeutic approaches, including emerging immune checkpoint inhibitors.
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