March 9, 2009

Drug combo increases brain tumor survival

German and Swiss scientists say they have used the combination of two drugs to achieve a substantial improvement in the treatment of certain brain tumors.

The researchers led by Professor Dr. Ulrich Herrlinger of the University of Bonn treated 39 patients who had been diagnosed with a gliablastoma. The patients -- treated with a combination of temozolomide and lomustine -- survived on average 23.1 months, while with the standard therapy the mean would have been 14.6 months, the researchers said.

This unusually manifest extension of the survival time has surprised even us, said Herrlinger. Our results offer the opportunity to improve our grip on this aggressive form of cancer. Now, further investigations involving a larger number of patients are needed to optimize this therapy.

The study is reported in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.