Currently, glioblastoma patients receive six cycles of radiation and temozolomide, a type of oral chemotherapy. However, the number of rounds required has been debated for years. For this reason, a team composed by researchers from the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Research Institute (IGTP) have carried out a clinical trial with more than 150 patients in order to determine the optimal number of cycles.
The results, recently published in the journal Neuro Oncology, and financed through a grant from the Carlos III Institute, show that increasing the number of cycles of this type of chemotherapy does not provide additional benefits. Also, the study points out that a greater number of cycles could be counterproductive since it increases the toxicity of the treatment.
The 5-year study is an open, multicenter, phase II clinical trial. That means that both patients and professionals knew whether they were receiving the experimental treatment (12 cycles of temozolomide) or whether they were receiving only 6 cycles, which is currently established in the clinical guidelines.
The conclusions, although not positive, allow us to close the discussion and therefore ensure that glioblastoma patients receive the best treatment.