In Research News

An initial study suggests that an experimental drug could be effective in treating patients with glioblastoma (GBM).

Durvalumab, a drug used to fight other kinds of cancer, is being tested on 148 patients in a clinical trial in the US. Early data suggests the therapy may stop the cancer in a significant minority of cases. Of the first 30 patients who received the drug, six people had shown no sign of deteriorating after six months. This is one person in five.

 

It’s great to hear news about this trial, but it’s important to put the results into context. It is only six people and it’s a very early stage of the trials.

 

According to David Reardon, clinical director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s centre for neuro-oncology in Boston, Massachusetts, the findings are promising but very preliminary.

 

Dr Helen Bulbeck, our Director of Services and Policy at brainstrust, says: “As with all of these baby steps towards a breakthrough they have to be put in context. This is a very early phase trial and immunotherapy is only appropriate for a minority. So we’ll watch this space and catch up with David Reardon in November. And keep you posted. There are several trials being designed at the moment and they’ll be added to the Brain Tumour Hub if they are funded and are opened. Small developments yes. But together they could create significant shift.”