Treatment of Glioblastoma multiforme

Many countries, in particular Russia, refuse to treat this disease. However, recent studies by German scientists made it possible to build a combined technique that aims to remove as much of the tumor as possible, to stop the neoplasm growth, to relieve the symptoms and to give the patient the opportunity to lead a decent life.

Key features of the tumor

The treatment is complex due to the features of the tumor, which do not allow for any of the standard methods to be effectively used:

  • Glioblastoma has a complex shape and a lack of a clear boundary for an adequate surgical resection. Healthy cells have a weak ability to regenerate and their removal is not permissible.
  • Malignant cells have increased resistance to radiation, while surrounding healthy cells, on the contrary, are sensitive to radiation, therefore, the use of radiation therapy is limited.
  • Not all drugs can overcome the blood-brain barrier. It is also difficult to perform chemotherapy.


In practice, Germany uses the very best of latest methods for oncology and neurosurgery addressing both radical and palliative treatments.

The treatment of glioblastoma is a two-stage process: surgical removal of the tumor and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The first stage aims to provide the best possible removal of the malignant tumor during surgical intervention. Surgery is considered successful if surgeons manage to remove more than 98% of the tumor volume.

The second stage aims to solve the following tasks: it is necessary to remove the remains of the neoplasm after surgery, to prevent growth and tumor recurrence. The patient is prescribed a course of radiation therapy (it is also possible to use stereotactic radiosurgery) and chemotherapy. The subsequent irradiation can reduce the volume by two orders of magnitude, that is, after the first stage there remains about 1/10,000 of the original volume of malignant cells. In some cases, irradiation can involve the use of radiosurgical equipment, such as CyberKnife or Gamma Knife.

In addition to a complex set of drugs for chemotherapy, Germany has developed innovative treatments for glioblastoma, which can be attributed to targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Targeted therapy

To improve the effectiveness of treatment, especially for unresectable tumors, specialists are developing alternative methods of targeted therapy (TT). In contrast to chemotherapy, in which healthy cells are inevitably affected by toxic substances (which eventually leads to many complications), the drugs used for targeted therapy have a pinpoint effect only on certain functions that ensure malignant cell functioning. There are three main directions of Targeted Therapy:

  • reduced neoplasm ability to affect healthy tissues,
  • growth slowdown,
  • destruction of tumor structures necessary for its existence.

Germany has already developed and now applies some methods of targeted therapy. One of them is protein therapy.

In the course of the research conducted by the staff of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), specialists have managed to detect that CD-95 ligand is the tumor growth factor. The effect of APG101 protein results in the cleavage of CD-95 and inhibits the development of cancer cells. Germany is the only country, which uses the method of protein therapy. The clinical trials confirm its effectiveness. There were found no side effects.

On the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme in Germany
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