RESTON, VirginiaA new Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study will determine if the drug thalidomide(Drug information on 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. Yung said.