Pembrolizumab extends survival in GBM

Pembrolizumab extends survival in GBM

Immunotherapy drug, Keytruda (Pembrolizumab), extends survival times in patients with brain cancer but these results are obtained only when it is used pre-surgery.

The trial was with just 35 randomised patients and involved 16 using the immunotherapy before and 19 using it after surgery. All patients had recurrent glioblastoma. The study(1) by the Ivy Foundation found that where the tumour had not been removed, the immunotherapy reactivated T-cells in it and these damaged the tumour. If the tumour had been removed through surgery, this effect could not happen.

Dr. Timothy Cloughesy was lead author on the project and is Director of the neuro-oncology program at UCLA.

Patients who used the drug prior to surgery survived on average 417 days; those who used it after, 228 days.

Prior to this study, research with immunotherapy on GBM had concluded that it was ineffective.

Go to: Brain cancer overview – causes and treatment alternatives

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Reference

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-018-0337-7

 


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2020 Research
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