Treating recurrent glioblastoma: an update

CNS Oncol. 2015;4(2):91-104. doi: 10.2217/cns.14.55.


Glioblastoma, the most aggressive of the gliomas, has a high recurrence and mortality rate. The nature of this poor prognosis resides in the molecular heterogeneity and phenotypic features of this tumor. Despite research advances in understanding the molecular biology, it has been difficult to translate this knowledge into effective treatment. Nearly all will have tumor recurrence, yet to date very few therapies have established efficacy as salvage regimens. This challenge is further complicated by imaging confounders and to an even greater degree by the ever increasing molecular heterogeneity that is thought to be both sporadic and treatment-induced. The development of novel clinical trial designs to support the development and testing of novel treatment regimens and drug delivery strategies underscore the need for more precise techniques in imaging and better surrogate markers to help determine treatment response. This review summarizes recent approaches to treat patients with recurrent glioblastoma and considers future perspectives.

Keywords: bevacizumab; glioblastoma; immunotherapy; lomustine; oncolytic viruses; pseudoprogression; re-irradiation; recurrent glioma; targeted therapy; temozolomide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / diagnosis
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Glioblastoma / physiopathology
  • Glioblastoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / physiopathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*