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Last Updated: 01/08/2018

NCI Convenes Think Tank on Strategies to Improve Glioblastoma Treatment

Glioblastoma Image

Members of DCTD's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (Jeff Abrams, MD, Bhupinder Mann, MD, and Bill Timmer, PhD) and NCI's Center for Cancer Research, Neuro-Oncology Branch (Mark Gilbert, MD) jointly organized a workshop on Strategies to Improve Glioblastoma (GBM) Treatment from December 14-15, 2017 (agenda). The workshop brought together diverse preclinical and clinical expertise to discuss ways in which NCI may best support and/or create infrastructure to promote more successful trials in GBM. Members of the NCI-supported brain cancer research community, including R01, P01, SPORE brain cancer, Adult Brain Tumor Consortium, and National Clinical Trials Network GBM investigators, joined NCI staff and patient advocates to discuss the latest research and define a strategy for therapeutic development in GBM.

The workshop was divided into the following sessions:

  • Surgical and Pathological Approaches to GBM - Overview of neurosurgery; Overview of pathological Issues
  • Radio-therapy of GBM - Overview of radiotherapy; Radiation sensitizers
  • Pre-clinical Studies - Overview of novel pre-clinical studies; Bypassing the blood-brain-barrier and other novel strategies
  • Clinical/Translational Studies - Overview of targeted agents; Overview of imaging; Overview of clinical trials and designs; Overview of immunotherapies; Perspectives from the patient advocates

Workshop discussions included the following proposed future directions:

  • Surgery - Consensus on tissue acquisition standardization and defining extent of resection
  • Pathology - Consensus on tissue processing methods and a heterogeneity index
  • Radiation - Mandatory early and late toxicity reporting and standardizing radiation sensitizer early-phase testing
  • Pre-clinical Research - Consensus on definition of adequate preclinical testing and role of tumor microenvironment
  • Blood-brain-barrier - Consensus on how to measure BBB alterations in trials and on measures of CNS drug delivery
  • Translational and Clinical Studies - Classify tumors better by paring tumor samples at onset/relapse and enhance definition of pharmacodynamic endpoints to include entire pathway
  • Imaging - Standardize routine imaging and make new imaging techniques available for clinical trials
  • Clinical Trials - Design trials to learn from negative results and re-define clinical trial phases and goals of each phase
  • Patient Advocacy - Increase partnership for patient education and participation in trials and engage advocates in clinical trial development
  • Immunotherapy - Consensus for better patient and target selection criteria for immunotherapy clinical trials; focus more on tumor microenvironment in clinical and preclinical testing