Present and potential future issues in glioblastoma treatment

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2006 May;6(5):719-32. doi: 10.1586/14737140.6.5.719.


The treatment of glioblastomas requires a multidisciplinary approach that takes the presently incurable nature of the disease into consideration. Treatments are multimodal and include surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Current recommendations are that patients with glioblastomas should undergo maximum surgical resection, followed by concurrent radiation and chemotherapy with the novel alkylating drug temozolomide. This is then to be followed by additional adjuvant temozolomide for a period of up to 6 months. Major advances in surgical and imaging technologies used to treat glioblastoma patients are described. These technologies include magnetic resonance imaging and metabolic data that are helpful in the diagnosis and guiding of surgical resection. However, glioblastomas almost invariably recur near their initial sites. Disease progression usually occurs within 6 months and leads rapidly to death. A number of signaling pathways can be activated constitutively in migrating glioma cells, thus rendering these cells resistant to proapoptotic insults, such as conventional chemotherapies. Therefore, the molecular and cellular therapies and local drug delivery that could be used to complement conventional treatments are described, and some of the currently ongoing clinical trials are reviewed, with respect to these new approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Glioblastoma / diagnosis
  • Glioblastoma / epidemiology
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuronavigation
  • Radiotherapy / methods