Gliadel Used in Initial Malignant Glioma Surgery Increases Survival

Gliadel Used in Initial Malignant Glioma Surgery Increases Survival

BALTIMORE--Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Gliadel biodegradable polymer implants significantly increased survival in a study of 32 patients with malignant glioma undergoing initial surgery. Gliadel wafers or placebo were inserted into the surgical cavity created when the brain tumor was removed, followed 3 weeks later by standard radiation therapy.

As the wafer slowly dissolves in the brain, it releases carmustine directly to the tumor site in high concentrations over an extended period of time.

In this randomized double-blind phase III study, 63% of the Gliadel-treated patients were alive 1 year after treatment, compared with 19% of placebo recipients. At 2 years, the figures were 31% and 6%, respectively.

The study, reported at the 11th International Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy in Napa, Calif, was coordinated by Guilford's Scandinavian partner, Orion-Farmos Corporation, and led by Dr. Simo Valtonen, of Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.

In a US phase III study, Gliadel was shown to extend survival in patients with recurrent malignant glioma. Gliadel is currently available under a Treatment IND to US patients.

In other news, Guilford announced that it has licensed exclusive worldwide rights to a novel proprietary polyanhydride polymer from Yissum Research Development Corporation of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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