Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Localized Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Best Practice for Glioblastoma



Glioblastoma is the most common, and most aggressive, form of brain cancer, with the average patient surviving just one year after they receive a diagnosis.

Share this!

January 3, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

John Hopkins University researchers have found that localized chemotherapy – as opposed to systemic treatment – could help preserve immune system function when immunotherapy will also be used to treat glioblastoma. This research on the aggressive form of brain cancer was conducted in mice models, and the results were published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine.

“We understand that our research was done in a mouse model and not in humans, but our evidence is strong that systemic chemotherapy alters the immune system in a way that it never fully recovers,” said Dr. Michael Lim, associate professor of neurosurgery and director of brain tumor immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. “With aggressive cancers like glioblastoma, it is important that we don’t handicap the defenses we may need to add alternative treatments, such as immunotherapy, to chemotherapy.”

Glioblastoma is the most common, and most aggressive, form of brain cancer, with the average patient surviving just one year after they receive a diagnosis. Like many other solid tumor types, glioblastoma is often treated using chemotherapy, radiation and surgical removal of the tumor.

In an effort to improve survival for patients with glioblastoma, neurosurgeons are turning to experimental immunotherapies. However, traditional systemic cancer therapies – such as chemotherapy – could weaken a patient’s immune system, thereby reducing the chances that immunotherapy will be effective for them.

Cancer clinical trials are increasingly looking to combine the standard of care for cancer with immunotherapy, making it necessary to better understand how these treatments function together. To determine whether localized or systematic chemotherapy are more compatible with new immunotherapies, Lim and his team tested these approached in mice.

The researchers dosed a group of mice with glioblastoma with the immunotherapy drug, anti-PD-1, and then treated the mice with chemotherapy, either directly to the brain or systemically throughout the whole body. After two weeks, the researchers counted the number of T cells present in blood samples taken from the mice, in order to assess immune system function.

The mice who were treated used systemic chemotherapy had lower levels of these lymphocytes, compared to those given the targeted therapy. The localized chemotherapy, in combination with immunotherapy, also improved survival to approximately 80 percent after 100 days; this is compared to 50 percent for mice given systemic chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

A number of clinical trials are currently being conducted to assess the effectiveness of immunotherapy for patients with glioblastoma. The current study could help guide these and future trials, to ensure that chemotherapy ad immunotherapy are being optimally used in combination.

Keywords: Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Glioblastoma


Share this with your colleagues!

Kite Pharma Secures FDA Approval for CAR-T Immunotherapy

October 20, 2017 - Kite Pharma’s Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) has become the second CAR-T immunotherapy to be approved in the US, with an indication in treating adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.

Featured In: Biotech News

Fallopian Tubes Found to be Site of Origin for Most Ovarian Cancers

October 20, 2017 - This year, over 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer but a new study conducted by researchers at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health suggests that most of these malignancies begin in another part of the reproductive system: the fallopian tubes.

Featured In: Life Science News

Food Companies are Looking for the Next Sriracha

October 19, 2017 - The Sriracha trend might be coming to an end and companies are looking for the next big hot sauce star to feature in their line-up.

Featured In: Food News


Five Reasons Why Toronto is Emerging as a Major Life Sciences Hub


Brexit – Separating Fact from Fiction

Evolving Best Practices for Working with Authors of Scientific Publications – Authorship and Beyond

Human Whole-Genome Sequencing in a New Era Defined by the Illumina® HiSeq X® and NovaSeq™ Platforms

Clinical Event Adjudication: Comprehensive and Efficient Dossier Review Using a Global On-Line Solution

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.