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How are glioblastomas treated?

Treatment for glioblastomas typically includes surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy. Glioblastomas are considered an aggressive brain cancer and commonly reoccur. Treatment for glioblastomas is advancing, and future treatments may also include the use of immunotherapy to attack the cancer.
Linda M. Liau, MD
Neurosurgery
There is no single effective therapy to cure glioblastomas, so efforts to change the outcomes of glioblastoma patients focus around evaluating and offering many promising therapies in clinical trials that approach killing or controlling the tumor from a variety of fundamental mechanisms. These include molecularly guided therapies -- drugs that exploit information obtained by genetically profiling tumors then targeting specific molecular abnormalities found in a subgroup of people; therapy that uses viruses to deliver genes to the tumor; and immune-based therapies, including tumor vaccines, to activate the person’s native immune system against the cancer.

With next-generation gene sequencing techniques, it is now much easier (although still costly) to identify new molecular targets for the treatment of glioblastomas. Nearly every person's tumor can be sent for sequencing, and then the person can be assigned to a clinical trial based on the abnormalities found. Drug companies are working to develop very focused agents based on newly discovered targets.
 
This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

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