Researchers reported a number of important findings in brain cancer treatment at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology:

Data does not support prolonged temozolomide as maintenance therapy in newly diagnosed glioblastoma

A retrospective analysis of four separate studies concluded that continuing temozolomide beyond 6 cycles did not result in improvement in overall survival for people with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma. The patients whose outcomes were analyzed had glioblastoma that had not progressed (advanced) following the initial 6 cycles of temozolomide.

What Patients Need to Know Temozolomide, a chemotherapy taken in pill form, is typically prescribed following a 6-week course of radiation.

Adding temozolomide to radiotherapy studied in anaplastic gliomas

The phase III CATNON trial studied adding the chemotherapy temozolomide to radiotherapy in patients with anaplastic gliomas. While giving concurrent temozolomide did not increase survival in trial participants as a whole, there was a trend towards a benefit in IDH-mutated tumors.

What Patients Need to Know Mutations in the IDH gene are “molecular markers” that are known to be of great significance in the development of gliomas.

Investigational drug for treatment of IDH1-mutated gliomas being studied

A first-in-human phase I trial is evaluating the investigational drug DS-1001b in the treatment of patients with recurrent or progressive IDH1-mutated gliomas. The trial is designed to assess the drug’s safety, tolerability and anti-tumor activity.

What Patients Need to Know The blood-brain barrier keeps harmful substances away from the brain, but also prevents many anticancer drugs from reaching brain tumors. DS-1001b has been shown to have high blood-brain permeability, meaning that it can effectively cross this barrier.

Investigational immunotherapy shows benefit as part of glioblastoma combination therapy

The latest results from an ongoing phase II trial showed that the investigational immunotherapy SurVaxM extended survival when used as part of combination treatment for glioblastoma. SurVaxM is a synthetic compound that stimulates the immune system to target survivin, a cancer molecule that is present in glioblastoma and many other cancers.

What Patients Need to Know

The trial participants were treated with SurVaxM in combination with standard therapy—surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy temozolomide.