New drugs and combinations for malignant glioma

Roger Stupp*, Curzio Rüegg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A new chemotherapy agent and a method for local delivery of carmustine have recently been approved for the treatment of malignant glioma. However, the increase in survival remains modest at best with only a very select patients currently benefiting truly of these treatments. Combination regimen of different alkylating agents or prior O6-alkyltransferase depletion by O6-benzylguanine or continuous temozolomide administration schedules have shown some indication for increased activity. There is preclinical rational for combining temozolomide with radiotherapy and the initial results of a phase II clinical trial were promising. Several new cytotoxic agents are currently in clinical trials in patients with recurrent glioma. More importantly, targeted therapy and antiangiogenic agents have entered the clinical development phase also for patients with glioblastoma and anaplastic astrocytoma. The optimal timing of administration of non-cytotoxic substances and their integration into the currently available treatments remains a challenge. Novel study designs and identification of surrogate markers are necessary in order to make rapid and clinically meaningful progress. This review summarises the currently available evidence of activity of the recently a proved drugs against malignant glioma and mentions also agents which have failed to demonstrate a significant antitumour activity. Study endpoints are critically discussed. Combination regimens with other agents and radiation therapy are reviewed. The rational for using antiangiogenic drugs in selected ongoing trials is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalFORUM - Trends in Experimental and Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Glioma
  • Oligoastrocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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