The most important aspect of treatment for glioblastoma is radiation treatment. Radiation probably has more of an impact on overall survival than surgery or chemotherapy. However, radiation works by breaking bonds of DNA molecules, and this requires the radiation to first get an oxygen molecule and break it into dust releasing a so-called free radical oxygen molecule. This is the actual mechanism by which the DNA is damaged. Therefore, one of the essential ingredients for successful radiation treatment of the tumor is the presence of oxygen. Unfortunately, whereas oxygen in the area is at 21%, we know that the oxygen in the tumor environment may be as low as 1% or less.

Avastin rejected by EMA for treatment of Glioblastoma 

The advisers to the European Medicines Agency have recommended against expanding Avastin to treat glioblastoma.

While Avastin is used generously in the United States for glioblastoma, and can induced dramatic effects in patients with large bulky tumors with significant edema and mass effect, there has been no substantial evidence that this blockbuster drug has increased survival for glioblastoma patients.

Research review written by Charles S. Cobbs, MD

The Gregory Foltz, MD Endowed Director
Ben & Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment
Swedish Neuroscience Specialists


A recent presentation at the American Society for Clinical Oncology  (ASCO) meeting in Chicago this month shows some suggestion of efficacy of the ImmunoCellular Therapeutics immunotherapy vaccine ICT-107.