RESTON, VirginiaA new Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)
study will determine if the drug thalidomide combined with radiation
therapy will lengthen the survival time and time to recurrence in
adults with glioblastoma multiforme, the most malignant type of brain tumor.
Despite important advances in diagnosis and therapy, malignant
gliomas tend to recur and progress at or near their original
location. A key feature in this type of tumor is the large number of
involved blood vessels, which accounts for its severity.
In the laboratory, thalidomide has appeared to inhibit angiogenesis,
said one of the study chairman, W.K. Alfred Yung, MD, of the
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Thalidomide also has
potential because it is an agent with minimal toxicity, which may
allow for long-term maintenance therapy, he added.
After diagnosis, patients will receive radiation therapy 5 days a
week for 6 weeks with daily oral thalidomide started at the same
time. Patients may continue receiving thalidomide therapy until there
is evidence of recurrence or disease progression.
We hope that the final result will provide a stable and
reliable determination of the benefits of the combined therapies
along with dosage information in regards to thalidomide, Dr.