Gliadel Wafers Approved For Brain Tumour Treatment in the UK

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Originally published in Issue 2 2005 icon

The anti-cancer drug carmustine (Gliadel) was developed over 30 years ago but was so toxic to the rest of the body, it fell out of use. Now by impregnating polymer wafers and putting these actually on the brain following a tumour removing operation, concentrations 1000 times stronger may be used. This technique has been used in the USA, and now Dr Robert Bradford will be using it at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

Ian Whittle, Professor at Western General Hospital Edinburgh said that there had been ’little progress in the last twenty years on brain cancer treatment compared with other cancers’. Dr Bradford felt this might extend survival, normally just months, to nearly a year.

(Ed: We have covered his work on Gliadel. The delivery system is now better developed but the results are still not as good as were hoped).

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