CHICAGO -- North Central Cancer Treatment Group (http://ncctg/ ) (NCCTG) researchers, based at Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayo.edu/) in Rochester, Minn., report that a novel application of the drug vorinostat shows activity in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. These findings were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (http://www.asco.org/portal/site/ASCO) Annual Meeting by Eva Galanis, M.D. (http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/staff/galanis_e.cfm), a Mayo Clinic oncologist and lead investigator of the study.
Glioblastoma multiforme is a lethal primary brain tumor. The average survival of glioblastoma patients is 12-16 months. These tumors spread quickly to other parts of the brain, and because of this are difficult to treat and often recur. When the tumor recurs, treatment options are limited, and patients survive for an average of three to four months.
"Existing treatment interventions have minimal impact on the outcome of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme patients," Dr. Galanis says. "Using vorinostat to treat glioblastoma multiforme patients who have relapsed following surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, we found that 15 percent of the patients had no tumor recurrence for six months or longer following treatment initiation. The median overall survival of the patients enrolled on the trial was 5.7 months -- similar patient populations enrolled in prior NCCTG trials had a median overall survival of between 4 and 4.4 months."
This study was the first application of vorinostat in targeting brain cancer. Vorinostat is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma in patients who have failed two or more systemic therapies.