Small molecule kinase inhibitors in glioblastoma: a systematic review of clinical studies

Neuro Oncol. 2010 Mar;12(3):304-16. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nop068. Epub 2010 Feb 9.


The efficacy of small-molecule kinase inhibitors has recently changed standard clinical practice for several solid cancers. Glioblastoma is a solid cancer that universally recurs and unrelentingly results in death despite maximal surgery and radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide. Several clinical studies using kinase inhibitors in glioblastoma have been reported. The present study systematically reviews the efficacy, toxicity, and tissue analysis of small-molecule kinase inhibitors in adult patients with glioblastoma as reported in published clinical studies and determines which kinases have been targeted by the inhibitors used in these studies. Publications were retrieved using a MEDLINE search and by screening meeting abstracts. A total of 60 studies qualified for inclusion, of which 25 were original reports. A total of 2385 glioblastoma patients receiving kinase inhibitors could be evaluated. The study designs included 2 phase III studies and 37 phase II studies. Extracted data included radiological response, progression-free survival, overall survival, toxicity, and biomarker analysis. The main findings were that (i) efficacy of small-molecule kinase inhibitors in clinical studies with glioblastoma patients does not yet warrant a change in standard clinical practice and (ii) 6 main kinase targets for inhibitors have been evaluated in these studies: EGFR, mTOR, KDR, FLT1, PKCbeta, and PDGFR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Humans
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors