Among all tumors that are liable to develop in brain tissue, glioblastoma multiforme is the most serious. In many instances, by the time the cancer is diagnosed, it is already impossible to surgically excise the tumor in its entirety. Therefore, the treatment of glioblastoma is based on surgical excision (to the extent possible, in instances when this is plausible according to the neurosurgeon’s best judgment), radiation of the brain and chemotherapy. It is important to know that the very existence of a glioblastoma inside brain tissue makes it difficult for many drugs to penetrate this tissue and have any effect on the tumor. Furthermore, since the glioblastoma is advanced and incurable in a large percentage of patients, it becomes necessary to wisely consider the use of chemotherapy drugs according to the predicted extent of their benefit to the patient.
In recent years, there have been significant advances in understanding the development of brain tumors. These advances include better characterization of the biology of the disease and therefore, targeted treatment options have become possible for treating advanced-stage cancer. In this way, a wider range of biological drugs, as well as immunotherapy, are now possible for a larger number of patients.
Biological therapy: biological drugs work on various receptors in cancerous tissue with the aim of preventing the cancer from proliferating or of affecting genome mutations that activate cell-division mechanisms. In this way, these targeted drugs succeed in affecting the tumor.
Immunotherapy: drugs that use the immune system to fight the tumor, when the tumor is paralyzing the immune system. One of the known mechanisms uses the immune system in a focused way with drugs that inhibit PD1. Recently, testimonies have begun to be received that these tumors may respond to immunotherapy.
Personalized therapy: in instances when tumors are not responding to the customary chemotherapy, advanced tests may be used in order to try to pinpoint targets for various treatments. The most suitable therapy may then be decided according to the biological characteristics of the tumor tissue, whether chemotherapy, biological therapy, or immunotherapy, which had not previously been considered effective.