Current Treatment Strategies for Malignant Gliomas

a report by

Michael Weller

Chairman, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich

Anaplastic astrocytomas, oligoastrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas (World Health Organization (WHO) grade III) and glioblastomas (WHO grade IV) are collectively referred to as malignant gliomas, whereas WHO grade I and II gliomas are designated low-grade gliomas.1 For decades, neurosurgical resection – whenever possible – and post-operative radiotherapy have been the cornerstones of treatment for malignant gliomas. Most chemo­therapeutic agents active in other types of cancer produced little benefit for glioma patients, with the possible exception of nitrosoureas. In contrast, recent years have seen significant advances in the fields of neurosurgical resection, radio-oncological treatment approaches and, most significantly, medical therapy (see Table 1), exemplified by the approval of temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.2 [Read more…]